Metal Monster

Powerful and black, strong and sleek, roaring in intimidation while holding memories so decadently sweet. With its back cab open, I easily peer into, and that’s when I see, a smitten young couple, wrapped up in each other, like twisted bedsheets. She lays her head on top of his shoulder, her body is snuggled up close. As the sun sets, the song “Cruisin'” blaring from the speakers, they bask in the love they chose.

In that old El Camino, with its rattles and its shakes, my memories of happiness and my memories of pain are the thoughts that the metal monster contains. My thoughts of you, our love, and those amazing Cali days while living in a Cali daze, only float back once in a blue, and yet once in a while, a metal monster will conjure things up when it roars on through. I refuse to suppress so instead I feel, and as the seconds tic on by, I begin to realize that it could possibly be that that life wasn’t meant to be more than a throw back story.

 

A Love For Fools

Long-distance love?

…run for the hills!

Ok, maybe I am a little bias BUT in my defense, when it comes to my blog posts I am writing about MY experiences, so why not write about this one??

When I was growing up my mother had a boyfriend who was one of her better ones. He was a wonderful guy, or so I thought. It was a few years after their break-up that I came to find out that he had cheated on my mom while on a trip to Colombia but that’s for another story..maybe. His and my mother’s relationship was a strenuous one. I remember my grandmother always telling her, “Amores de lejos, Amores pendejos.” Which pretty much translates to “A love from afar is a love for fools.” My grandmother didn’t hold back. She was a wise one that one and this phrase always stuck with me. Watching my mom have to really plan out her week when it came to her being able to drive off for two and a half hours to go see her love, or even vice versa, I noticed how big of a challenge it was for her. God forbid it was an off week for them and they fought during one of their visits. They would each leave one another feeling defeated. My mom spent every night talking with him on the phone when he wasn’t around. In a way, it was cute to watch her get so excited when he called for their nightly talk. Giddy like a little school girl she would be.

I don’t really recall how long they dated. It was about four years I believe? Possibly longer. All I really remember was that one day he no longer was going to be apart of our lives and I was a little crushed. It wasn’t so much that their love really fizzled out. This heartbreak was a big one for my mom. Neither of them were willing to relocate for the other. He lived in Jersey City, north from our south Jersey home, in a dingy city with great mom and pop style eateries but nothing motivating enough to get my mom away from her pension job and safe neighborhood. Why hadn’t he wanted to move south?? I’m sure he had a level of comfort built around his life in Jersey City. He had a good job, and I also feel that he liked being able to take a break whenever the family life got to be too much for him. A single mom with two daughters can’t be the easiest or most ideal situation. No matter the reason, it hadn’t lasted.

Moving forward about 15 years later, here I was in the same style of relationship. The young man and I had met one night while out at one of the local clubs in my town. Unfortunately for me, he didn’t live locally so then started my first (and only) long-distance relationship. Of course, I had remembered the wise words of my grandmother and, yes, I had remembered what my mother had gone through. Yet, in my eyes, I felt as though I had been given an opportunity and so snatching it up was what I had to do. I began my weekly (at times bi-weekly) commute to the east coast of Florida. It was two and a half hours for me to get to my home from his. Sometimes, if I was feeling up to it, I would leave after work and drive straight there. Most times I would leave on my day off early in the morning and drive back home the next day. In the beginning, it wasn’t such a chore but later on, as life moved forward it took a toll on me and my emotions. There were moments when maybe he had to work late that night or the entire next day that resentment would build because I felt as though I was getting the attention I needed or expected after a long ride to see him. Arguments that sometimes didn’t need to go on for more than a day would go on for a week because there wasn’t much quality time to work on issues. At one point I was even starting to believe I was dating a complete stranger because who I thought I had initially met was now turning into someone I hadn’t even thought existed.

The biggest downfall in our relationship I will say was the fact that we hadn’t given ourselves enough time to really get to know one another before really diving into an official and committed relationship. By week two I noticed that he was no longer in the courting stage. We had become an item so soon that comfortability took over and with that, the “wooing” period went straight out the window. Little by little I began to learn who this man really was and although I cannot speak ill of him I do know that if distance hadn’t played its part, I would have gotten to realize a lot sooner that maybe this man just wasn’t for me.

We made it nine months before our issues got the best of both of us. This wasn’t until after I had already made my move to the east coast to be with him. I won’t lie that even when I was sitting in the moving truck driving across the state I knew that this wasn’t going to work out. But a commitment had already been made and to be honest, I was also tired of the town I was in. I had decided to move forward with the plans, always staying hopeful that maybe, just maybe, by being closer together we would be able to work things out.

Moving in together had only amplified our issues. No shock there, right?

I write about long-distance love because it happens every day. I feel that people are in such a desperate need to find love that they don’t really think about what it means to be in a long-distance relationship and the hardships that come along with it. It is truly difficult to get to really know someone who lives hours away. You seldom get to see each other in one’s natural habitat and the “best behavior” aspect of dating lasts a lot longer. Meaning, that it takes a while to really see what the other person is truly like, what their flaws are, etc

I don’t think I was at his place for an entire month before things began to fully fall apart. We had different ways of approaching life. We wanted different things. What he was willing to settle for was not something I wanted. Not only that, but I soon began to discover that he had habits that I was not willing to ignore. Substance abuse and the refusal for help wasn’t going to be tolerated and so it wasn’t long before I packed my bags and said adios.

Most of what I learned after I moved in with him were all things I would have probably picked up on if we would have not had the distance in the way to slow the learning process down. Love already isn’t easy. You have to work at it no matter how easy it is to love the person. Adding distance to the equation almost dooms it. Don’t get me wrong there are people who succeed in making it work and do end up lasting a lifetime. However, the odds of it working out are slim and the journey will be at times empty and almost always frustrating. I guess when it comes to love, we never want to pass up the love of one’s lifetime. It’s only human nature to try to go after the impossible when it comes to it. If the pros outweigh the cons, then hey, go for it and make sure it’s adding to your life more than it’s taking. All I’m saying is that long-distance love is not for the weak. It’s more for fools in love.

Before It Could Blossom

In a concrete jungle, they had found love, their eyes first meeting the day she had discovered her neighborhood library. She walked in excited to have found a place where she could feel comfortable and at home. Since her move into the big city, she had yet to feel either. There was always something amazing about being surrounded by stacks and stacks of books. It was as if you were surrounded by so many different lives, being fictitious or not. She entered the library and walk towards the right heading towards the fiction section comma and that’s when she had spotted him. He obviously worked or volunteered there. His ID dangled around his neck while he sorted away the books on each shelf. Her heart jumped a little. Weird how that happened. He was cute …and tall …and mysterious …but there was something else about him. She didn’t know what it was but it was like a magnet.
Whenever she wasn’t at work she was at the library. What was there to do at home anyways? There was no internet and there was no cable, which meant all she had where her books. Some days he was there. Some days he wasn’t. By the second week of her routine visits, they had become friendly. They greeted each other with a warm smile and a nod, and soon it became a full-on wave with a, “Hey how’s it going?!“
Eventually exchanging phone numbers, they began to get to know each other. Their text messages were more silly than they were flirtatious. She absolutely loved that. They chatted throughout the day about anything and everything. It was not only easy to talk with him but it was also exciting. They could go from cracking jokes one second to a conversation on aliens and alternate dimensions the next. This was why, although she ended up finding out he was 4 years her junior when he asked her out to dinner, she happily said yes.
He picked her up in his old school El Camino. Her heart melted and it was from that night that the two were inseparable. Absolute best friends from the very beginning, they couldn’t have been any more compatible with one another. But sometimes, just because the yin had found its yang, that didn’t mean that their coming together would last forever. Throughout the time that they were building what could have been an everlasting and loving relationship, life behind the scenes wasn’t working out too well for her. Life in the big city had been rough and expensive. The jobs she was able to get hired for simply didn’t pay enough to cover her rent and utilities, let alone make enough for food and savings. It was a real struggle to make ends meet and the stress and anxiety would eat her up alive at night when her thoughts would run around her mind like wild horses. It was only when they were together that she felt something other than pain and heartache. He made her feel good.
They were sitting at one of their favorite burger spots. It was a beautifully sunny day and only she knew how sad of a day it was about to turn into. As they waited for their number to be called, he sat across from her telling her all about the first half of his day. They sat there in the booth on his lunch break, him chatting away while she barely listened. All she could hear were the roaring waves of sadness that were ripping apart her heart.
“Babe, are you listening? I know you’re not because that was funny and you’re not laughing.” He grinned at her. Man did she love those dimples.
“I’m moving back home in 2 weeks.” It came out barely a whisper. He just stared at her, at first making her believe that he hadn’t heard her. She didn’t know if she had the courage to say it once again but she soon realized that she wasn’t going to have to. His eyes misted over and as the lady working the counter called out their number, neither of them moved.

*

We never ate the burgers. We never even claimed them. Our hearts sunk deep into our bellies, heartbreak oozing into our souls. We spent as much time together as we could. We revisited our favorite places together. I went with him on his runs at the park (he ran while I waited on the sidelines). We hugged. We kissed. We cried. On our very last night together we laid on his bed in darkness our heads down towards the opposite end, and while staring up into the ceiling, we listened to all our favorite songs. Both of us being such great lovers of Motown, we listened deep into the night and I will never forget the last song we listened to. As if the Universe knew what we were going through, Kiss and Say Goodbye by The Manhattans came on and as if a switch had turned on, tears pooled into the corners of my eyes and overflowed, rolling past my temples and into my hair. The amount of sadness that was burying itself deep within my throat was overwhelming, so much so that it had sent me into a daze. The one last kiss as I left his bedroom, the one last handhold as I walked out of his front door, the one last hug before getting into the car, the last drive I’d take with him in his El Camino and the last time I would watch him drive away as he waved his last goodbye… I can’t even describe the feeling of what it was like to leave that piece of my heart behind.
I heard the song today and just like any other time I hear it, my heart smiled. Although it was so painful to leave before the relationship had a real chance to fully blossom, I love knowing that I got to experience such love in only just a few short months. I got to experience what felt like an entire lifetime in love and the memories of all that we shared will forever be in bloom, my heart a basket containing every petal.

Eventually Works For Me

After my last disaster of a relationship (realistically its been the last two but who’s really counting?) I decided to go on a hiatus from the dating scene. It wasn’t more than a few weeks into my celibacy that my close friends were adamant that I get myself out there again. Never being the type to rebound date it took  me months to really even contemplate going out one on one with a guy.  Five months later I woke up one  morning thinking to myself that maybe I was now ready to go out and at least mingle with the opposite sex. As I went out with friends I began actually looking at the strangers around me, wondering “what if”? Not many peaked my interest. Those that did were either already locked down, lived long distance (not doing that again), played for the other team, or after a moment’s conversation just wasn’t meant for me.

On a random night, while my amazing roommate and I were having a glass (or two) of wine by the pool deck, he decided to try to bring up the whole “dating app” scene to me. He already knew that I was never a true fan of making up a profile to try to “find love”. He always poked fun at the way that I was set on finding the man of my dreams organically. This night however he decided to give the topic of conversation another try and this time I was more open to listening. He listed cons but his pros outweighed them. In his eyes it was the most obvious answer to what he called my dilemma. As far as I knew I was in no dilemma. Being single was good for me. It was only random periods of time in which I really craved having someone again. But like any other craving, as quickly as the wave would come, it would then again go. His advice wasn’t one I took seriously until there came a moment of sheer boredom.

On this particular night I had been extremely bored. I wasn’t in the mood to write or read ( I know! Can you imagine?) nor was I in the mood to binge watch Netflix or anything else that I had been using to combat time. I decided to open up a dating app and see what actually resulted from it. To be quite honest, coming up with the profile was to me the fun part. Answering profile questions, setting up a summary of yourself, pictures, ect.. that was all fun to me. The moment I hit the button to actually activate my profile was exactly the moment the anxiety crept in. Within just a couple hours I had 663 potential “matches”, a list of people who liked my profile and wanted to chat. About 400 of those people messaged, most messages being one liners like, “Hey mami..” or “Hi there beautiful. Wanna chat?” There were quite a few creepy messages, explicit and very to the point in what it was they were desperately searching for. I decided that instead of me sifting through all the crap, I would just scroll through and I would message the ones  I was mostly interested in.

I was active on the app for about 2 days total. I personally messaged two guys and have since then gone on two dates with one of them. The other has been really trying to convince me to “allow” him to take me out but I haven’t been motivated to do much more than a little messaging here and there. Both great guys, yet neither have me feeling comfortable enough to join the “official” dating scene again the reason having nothing to do with them, and all to do with me.

Its been weeks now since I have discontinued my profile and I have officially stopped looking for a special someone to meet. Instead what I’ve done has been much soul searching and trying to understand exactly where I am at this point in my life and what I really want for myself.

My findings are honest and real.

Simply put, I am at a point in my life in which I want to be completely and utterly selfish. I enjoy spending time with myself focusing on the things I want to do and the things that make me happy.

I want to think that due to all the newness in my life these last few months (real single-hood, new home, new job, new friends, ect..) I have come into a new self. A revamped and upgraded version of me. I got rid of all that was weighing me down and it has only been just recently that I have found balance in this new life I lead. Changes as small as choosing who to keep within my inner circle or as big as taking a better job but with a slight pay cut affect who we are, how we live our lives, and what priorities we set in life. For the past few years I have sacrificed a lot of the things I’ve wanted to pursue or do because I place the importance of others and what they might think or say above my own needs. I relocated to a new city solely  for a significant other (do not recommend it), I have quit jobs due to other’s disapproval of it, I haven’t taken travel opportunities due to a boyfriend at the time not “liking” the idea of them not being able to come along. Since being single, really single, there has been no one to answer to or keep in mind. If I have money to take me out, I do it. I choose where I go, who I invite (if any one at all), I decide how long I stay out for. If I decide to stay in whether due to wanting or needing to, I decide how I spend my time. There is no me feeling guilty because maybe I chose to go into my room to read a book. When I get ready to leave the house, I get ready for myself. I don’t get anxious about where I’m going, who I’m going to meet, what I should wear, will I say something stupid and embarrass myself (I mean it’ll happen, but I don’t care if it does.)? I don’t have to worry about meeting a guy’s group of friends and then their family (Will they like me? What if they don’t?) My days and nights are carefree and genuinely happy. I daydream of places I want to travel to and not of those places I’m compromising to see. I am not living out anyone else’s dreams, just my own.

I thought I was ready to hit the dating scene but now that I have dipped my toe in the water testing it, I know that I’m not. I have friends that tell me that maybe I’m overthinking it. “Just let them wine and dine you for fun… a free drink and some dinner never hurt anyone” but to me I don’t see the point. To find new friends is great and I’m always open to it, but to date for the hell of it, simply for a free meal and drinks? To me, that’s not only a waste of time but also asking for bad karma. To me that’s leading people on, taking advantage of their sincere interest in me in hopes for a future together. Instead I rather tend to go on dates only on the rare occasions in which I have money. That way I feel no guilt or any obligation. Being Miss. Independent I never want to leave myself at the mercy of others. I like to be able to contribute for half the check or at the very least, the tip. Yes, most times a man won’t take a penny in the name of good ol’ fashion chivalry but this lady also understands the meaning of hard earned cash and will be damned if she uses a man for a  meal ticket.

There was promise with the one I went out with from the dating app, but my current financial situation hindered me a bit. One of the very first things he mentioned to me while on our first date was how he highly believed in financial equality within a relationship. Right now, what I can afford to do between paychecks is very minimal so for me that was just another sign as to why I should not be dating at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, he was quite the (handsome) gentleman and would always offer to pay for any date we planned for but if I’m not comfortable being able to hangout with someone due to personal financial reasons, then the simple fact that I feel uncomfortable is enough to deter me from moving things forward as an item. To be totally honest, this is probably residual trauma from the last relationship I was in where monetary issues ruled every important aspect of our lives from the very beginning. It left one hell of a sour taste in my mouth and therefore I always swore to myself that I would never allow money to play a major part in any of my relationships again.

The idea of dating to me signifies much more than a meal and a means to kill time. I’d like to eventually find that person to share and build with. We can make memories and be support for one another through our future stages of life. I look to add to their life and they add to mine. A solid friendship that’ll endure the test of time. A friendship in which we both can be comfortable in being ourselves and where we don’t impose unrealistic expectations upon one another. The compromises we would make would be out of genuine care and not because you feel as though you “have” to. I’d like to find that one who will make me smile and laugh much more than cry and stress out. One who I could do the same for as easily as it is to breath. I believe that in life, if you do not settle for anything less than what you hope to have, you will find exactly what you’re looking for. I believe that eventually it will happen and “eventually” works for me. Until then, I will continue to live my single-hood happily and in peace.

Dating Miss. Independent

I am 31 and still very single.

I won’t say that it bothers me in the least bit.

Dating isn’t easy. Can we even really call it enjoyable? Don’t get me wrong, I am not jaded. What I am is realistic and although dating is more times fun than not, I wouldn’t consider it entirely enjoyable. The process can be exhausting from meeting someone, to having to get ready to go on dates, to later meeting his friends and family, to then establishing some sort of compromising routine so that all parties involved are at least equally as happy. I mean, breaking it down like this and who really wants to go dating?

Try doing all of that while being highly independent and the dating world suddenly gets even murkier. That’s what I’ve always gone through, and even though I still tend to jump right in, it doesn’t take me very long to quickly get back out.

The unknown typically doesn’t make a person like myself very comfortable. Funny thing because independent people tend to go adventuring into the unknown but only because of our curiosity and uncomfortability with it; the unknown usually driving us to wanting to know more. Relationships are a huge unknown. Although many would like to constantly express their trust and comfortability within their relationship, no one can be 100% sure because we all know that in life, anything can happen. With that said no wonder we independents find comfort in the walls that we built around our hearts, letting only a countless few in. An average man who desires the independent woman’s heart, can’t even see beyond that wall.

Men tend to always crack me up. In conversations with the male counterpart I often hear that an important quality that they look for in a woman is that she be independent. Later on they meet one and before you know it the relationship is over and it is because of her independent ways that didn’t sit well with them. It’s one example of how sometimes what we think we want in another person isn’t exactly what we may need.

An independent woman won’t be that girl waiting by the phone for his phone call. She will most definitely not be the “doormat” type of girlfriend. She is picky and why shouldn’t she be? Forever is a long time so she’s got a long list of traits she wants because she is ambitious even when it comes to her love life. Although we love to love and crave that emotional availability and companionship with another, we won’t bend for just anyone because for most of us, we have been living a life for so long on our own that we have even built a metaphysical wall around our hearts; just another safety precaution to help us get through this crazy life. Most of us ‘Miss. Independents’ have faced life challenges with a courageous heart and yes, we have overcome a lot yet there is still a fear of failure that lingers on, just like with everyone else. Independents are typically strong and know much about themselves and this can be intimidating for many men. Hence why it takes someone very secure with themselves to be with an independent and will have no problem standing behind their partner when support is needed. A man who is a ball of mush will never be able to hold the attention of a strong woman because it shows her that he will never be able to give her the stability she needs.

Most men tend to want to be that knight in shinning armor aiding in the rescue of his damsel in distress. When he begins dating an Independent woman, his entire game is thrown for a loop. An Independent isn’t looking to date you in order to feel financially secure, which is the foot many men want to begin to lead with, and even though Independent women aren’t necessarily more financially successful, they still won’t seek or accept offerings.

An independent woman will respect a man who is the type to plan their dates and romances her, is chivalrous to her and respectful towards others; a man who will take the reins when need be. She respects the man who maintains an independent social life apart of the one they share together because for an independent woman, alone time is key. A man who lives his own life alongside hers and doesn’t intertwine the two is a major plus. If he is possessive, overbearing, or tends to come on too strong that will be the perfect repellent to keep this kind of girl at bay. She is anti-clingy and so she will never be the woman who will be obsessed with your looks and who will be continously feeding your ego. Simply put you are a part of her life and not her entire life. She is a big advocate on each person keeping their own serperate identity when also building one as a unit. For her it isn’t about not wanting to bend to his ways but more so keeping who she has worked so hard to become. When she meets that man who is willing to invest in doing the things that make her her without a fight, she is loyal to a fault because of its rareity.

Independent women tend to always give off the “I’m fine” vibe. It is almost second nature for us. Even though we cherish our independence we also know that it can get in our way of our asking for help when we needed. Strong communication is important in general but more so with an Independent. Communicaton is not only when it comes to verbally speaking or listening, but it is also interpretation. It’s importnat to listen to what she doesn’t say because what she isn’t saying can speak volumes.

Guys, dating an independent woman isn’t easy. Like any other relationship it can most definitely be a bumpy ride but one that will be 100% worth it. An independent woman has a clear idea of who she is and what she wants and if you’re the kind of man who knows himself and feels comfortable in speaking up about and desires and limits, this relationship will be rewarding.

My advice to you is to be patient, be yourself, and always enjoy the ride.

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.

Another BIG Move

In exactly two months this girl will be moving across the state. It won’t be my first time relocating long distance. I’ve moved from Jersey to Florida, Florida to California, California to Jersey, and Jersey back to Florida again. This time I’m only moving from one side of FL to the other. You would think that after such major moves in the past that this would be quick and easy for me, but it isn’t. Relocating is never easy. It’s hard to leave the comfort of what you’re used to and head into the world of the unknown, even if what you’re used to isn’t making you 100% happy.  Even so, I never let fear determine an outcome. Especially when in pursuit of love.

***Skeeeeert*** All ears and eyes perked up***

Yes, I said love. This time, compared to previous times, I am relocating for Love and boy oh boy have I gotten shit for this. In all honesty it makes me giggle out loud because most of those who comment negatively on my reason in moving have NO IDEA whom they’re talking to. At the age of 30 I can say that this has not been my first rodeo. Unlike my bf, I have been in cohabitant relationship before, and although he is in for the shock of his life, I am not. I know about all the trials and tribulations when it comes to living with your significant other. I fully understand all the highs and lows that come when moving in together and I am prepared.  Hence why I must clarify that although I am relocating to the east side, and that eventually we will be living together, for the first few months my bf and I will NOT be cohabiting 🙂

If you have been following my blog you know that the relationship I have been in for the past few months has been a long distance one, and that it hasn’t been all peaches and cream.  Having to drive two and a half hours every time you want to see your significant other can really put a strain on the relationship. From having to plan even the smallest of dates, to not being able to spend certain holidays together due to conflicting schedules, being apart doesn’t make things easy. Long distance dating pushes back any milestones that “normal” couples hit in a quicker fashion. Although him and I have been dating 8 months, I still don’t feel 100% about moving in with him right away and not because I don’t love him. More so because I do and so I need to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes I’ve committed in the past. I’ve moved in quickly with bf’s before. Before getting to really know them and their quirks. Before getting to know the things that tick them off. Before getting to know the everyday things about them that would allow me to really decide if they were the right man for me or just a learning phase. If I had to guess, I would say that our 8 month long distance relationship is equivalent to a 3-4 month “normal” relationship. Do I feel confidant moving in with someone after 3 months? After my past experiences? No. I mean, would you??

“If you’re so nervous about living with him, shouldn’t you take that as a sign as to not move across the state for him?” I get asked this one a lot once people realize that I’m not moving in with him right away. These are the kinds of people that look at a situation and either see black or white, there is no grey area in between. For me, I don’t take this as a negative sign against my bf. I take this as a positive towards me and my own learning experiences. The way I see it is that I have learned from my past. My past has taught me that you don’t simply move in with someone that you’re dating out of convenience or because it’s the “next step” in the relationship. NO. You do it once you feel it’s right for the both of you. I am ready to make a move out of SWFL. I have been for quite sometime now and if I hadn’t met my bf I would still be relocating. The fact that him and I have been dating for longer than my usual is a sign to me that things between us are moving in the right direction. Am I supposed to make this relationship work from hundreds of miles away?? Of course not. At some point the move has to be made if we’re eventually going to try to get things to the next level.

“Well, why do you have to be the one who moves? You did spend most of the time driving to see him. Isn’t it time he put forth some effort?” This one is usually the next question to follow. Like I said before, I have been wanting to get out of where I live for over a year now. It’s just what I do once I’m bored so me moving was going to happen eventually. The conversation was had and we both decided together that it would be me making the big transition. Yes, I have already put much energy into this relationship in the way of having to drive a few hours a week to see him BUT it is what had to be done. My work gives me the chance to be able to do such things. His job does not. Is that an excuse? Yes, but it’s a good one. A real reason as to why it worked out the way it did, not just some made up excuse to make me feel better.  Should I punish him or make things more difficult for us simply because I was lucky in having a flexible job? What he doesn’t do in driving or relocating he makes up for in other ways. The fact that people look at our situation and think they know the sacrifices we make for each other is astonishing and goes to show the arrogance in their thinking. Plus, when does anyone ever stop putting forth energy into a relationship? Those in unsuccessful relationships, that’s who.

“You’ve seem to have it all figured out. It all sounds good but…. What if it doesn’t work out?” Ahhh yes. The most common question asked. I consider it to be the dumbest, especially if you’re asking me. What happens if it doesn’t work out? Well….. I move on! DUH! I am not one to dwell on anything. I find that dwelling on the things that don’t work out for you is the best way to keep yourself stuck and off track. I like to learn and move on when it comes to the things that don’t pan out for me like I believed they would. Would I be heartbroken? Of course I would, but I’ve never died of a broken heart before. If it doesn’t work out then it doesn’t work out, but at least I gave it a try. At least I didn’t let fear stop me from trying. I am a believer that what happens happens, as well as a believer that the universe is always conspiring in your favor. If the relationship doesn’t work out, it is for a reason. I may not be super thrilled about it not working out, but I will survive, as always.

I’m going into this situation as realistically as I possibly can but with the highest of hopes. Every day is a new day and with each step taken towards my big move it becomes less scary and more exciting. I heard a lecture once by Alan Watts where he speaks about feeling nervous versus feeling excited. The feeling of both is exactly the same. The difference is in your thinking. To feel “nervous” is to think negatively about the given situation. Feeling “excited” is the positive way of thinking about it. I am truly excited about my upcoming move. To be closer to my love will be a breath of fresh air. To be in a new environment sends a sense of thrill through my soul. A new adventure to write about in the story of what is my life. Cheers! To another big move.

DSCF0278 (2)Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

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?

DSCF0579 (2)

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

 

 

 

 

It’s Not Another Love Story

I had ended it a month before I was to meet who is now, the love of my life. It wasn’t like there was anything truly serious between us. It was more like we were beta testing what it would be like if it had turned into something more. Now looking it back, it is apparent to me that even if we had made us “official” the relationship between us would have never lasted.

We had been friends for years, or maybe “friends” is a term I’m using loosely. I met him through mutual friends and eventually when I had bowed out of the circle, our friendship had turned into one of acquaintances. It was only years later that we had reconnected.

When you’re living in a world  that is often cold and lonely, certain things, people, places, situations, begin to look more appealing than under normal circumstances. You begin to give life to thoughts that normally wouldn’t exist or at the very least would have quickly been dismissed. It had months since I had last seen him. I had been out one night with a few friends, and there he was chatting it up to some of his customers at the bar. As quickly as we said hi to one another, we said our goodbyes. My group and I were changing scenery but after that night we began to exchange FB messages here and there. After some time I knew there was an interest there, but knowing what I thought I knew about him, I didn’t feel the urge to pursue anything.  If I would have continued to follow my intuition, maybe the drama would have been avoided. Yet, no matter how certain you may be of something, once the seed of doubt is planted, it hardly take much for it to grow. My seed of doubt?What if I ended up dismissing something beautiful simply because I felt like I had an idea of where it may lead me to?

On the day that it had all began, I had been hours in to day drinking by myself on the beach. Season had finally begun to die down and there wasn’t much traffic so I had taken it upon myself to take advantage of the quiet, and decided to have a “me” day. Not that I had much of a choice considering I hardly had any friends on this side of town… or hardly at all for that matter. By this point, we had gone from speaking only through FB to texting and almost on a daily basis. The invite to hang out via text arrived in the early afternoon. Since I was already too buzzed to even think about driving anywhere, I insisted he meet me at a bar in walking distance to where I was. The bar I suggested was on the beach with a pool. I figured if we ever hit an “awkward silence” moment, it would provide us with, at the very least, a distraction.

Under normal circumstances I would have never been down to hang out one on one like that. Not just with him, but with any guy who I wasn’t already real friends with. Under “normal” (meaning sober) circumstances I would have known what us hanging out could have potentially meant for him, and it was more than what it would have meant for me.

Now I understand what you’re thinking,

“This b!T%* really is so full of herself that she believes that this poor guy is just going to fall in love with her and her not feel a thing. How does she know she won’t be the one falling for him?” 

I understand what you’re saying. It’s not that I am full of myself, not by any means. To give a little history here, during the time that I had initially met this particular person, it had been made very clear to me by his closest friends, that he was very interested and very smittened by me. Fast forwarding to this moment, the flirting through messages was obvious and strong. I knew right away that I wasn’t interested (in that way) and this is why that up until this particular beach day we hadn’t hung out. Up until this day I had really been the one to choose not too.

By the time I had gathered myself off the beach and walked into the bar, he was already sitting there, drink in front of him. Within minuets of our initial greet he presented me with a well thought out gift. I remember my last clear thought that day was “Well that was really nice of him,” and after that it was all a cloud.

I don’t remember much of our conversation. I know that once it got dark, we made it to the beach, where we sat and smoked a joint. I vaguely remember listening to the music that erupted from his phone. To this day I will never forget the song River. He introduced me to that song that night and I remember having made him replay it what seemed like hundreds of times while we sat there on the beach. Had we kissed that night under the deep night sky? I do not know. To this day I do not know because I had later been too embarrassed to ask.

Eventually we made our way back to my place where we said our goodbyes and once inside my apartment, I remember plopping down on my not so soft couch futon, thinking to myself, “Fuck, now what are you going to do?”

I woke up the next day to find a message from him telling me how much he enjoyed the day before. I was hungry, hungover, and thoughtful. It was over a reheated slice of pizza that I decided to weigh out the pros and cons of what would happen if it was decided to take this friendship of ours a step further. To my surprise the list was a draw. It could go either way. That’s when I decided to give this a whirl. It wasn’t like he was a bad guy, no matter how much of an asshole he tried to project. That was just a show for others, I knew that. Sure, he hadn’t looked like the man I had always dreamed up in my mind. Yes, he was a little more negative than I had hoped for my other half to be BUT those were things one could look past and even maybe with time, change. (by this very thought it should have been clear to me that this was not to be…you don’t attempt a relationship with people in hopes to change them. Not like that.  When it is pure and true, you accept them as they are. You love down to the very flaws that once would have made you think twice and if needed be, with love they evolve, on their own to be better versions of themselves, of yourself.) 

We continued hanging out after that night. At first a couple times a week. Quickly a couple times a week ended up turning into almost everyday. Days had then turned into weeks and still the doubt was there and just wouldn’t let up. I was angry at myself because I didn’t understand what was internally wrong with me. He was funny and attentive. Two qualities I had always loved in a man. He had household skills that would put many housewives to shame. A particular set of skills in the kitchen that only a true chef could master. Still, all these great qualities and I just couldn’t fall in love. Not like he wanted me to. The flame was just not igniting for me no matter how much I tried to force it.

The heart is strong and it is pure.

One cannot convince the heart to feel things that do not come natural. I learned this the first time when it came to my father. I would later learn this many more times in a number of different situations. It is a lesson hard to learn and only when one comes to accept this does life become a little tiny bit easier.

We had been “talking” for a little over a month when I had finally decided to be completely and 100% honest with him. Not only was it what he deserved, but I truly did come to love the friendship and I wanted to preserve what we had built up to that point. Silly girl.

It wasn’t at all easy for me to have the conversation. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news, news that would emotionally hurt someone for that matter. It wasn’t easy for him to hear. No one wants to stand there and get their heart broken.

His hurt wore many faces. He was angry, sarcastic, hurtful, all of which I understand. He tried many times to make me realize how perfect we were for each other. “How could two good people who deserve each other not be together?” he asked me once.

“Just because two good people come together doesn’t mean they should date. Maybe they’re in each other’s lives for a long lasting friendship.” I answered.

The friendship has now completely diminished. His anger over time built into resentment and once I made it public that I was officially in a relationship with someone, he completely let me have it.

I had known this reaction would come but I hadn’t believed it to be permanent. I thought that he would eventually see that my honesty was something that had to be. What was I supposed to do? Suck up the fact that I was’t emotionally connected to him like we had hoped I’d be? Was I to live a life forcing something there? I thought he would get over his angry and understand that I had not meant to hurt him. That he would understand that if I had continued on to force love, things would have ended way worse.

The understanding never came. Instead there was more insulting and hostility. Today we don’t speak and with all the sadness that a dying friendship brings I do morn for its loss. I move on with my life coming to the understanding that sometimes the pursuit of happiness can be difficult. You will encounter tough situations and maybe hurt others along the way, but happiness is what we’re on this earth to experience. Not for others, but for ourselves.

029-2 Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: Venice Beach California

 

Sirens of Change

I can still here the sirens echoing in the background. The images of hysteria play back in my mind. To think, two decades have passed since then.

A warm and bright afternoon in July, my family from Boston had been in town visiting. It was always an exciting time when they came to visit. My aunt, an incredible cook of Colombia’s finest cuisine, my uncle the funniest and happiest man I had ever known. The two of them had two kids, my cousins, and for the most part we all got along pretty well. Leon was the oldest of the two and was awesome to hang around with. He treated me as his equal although he was 5 years older than I was. He had the humor of his father and the kind heart of his mother. Veronica, his sister, was only a couple year older than me, and by far, way cooler. Growing up, she was who I wanted to be. Anytime our families got together, my sister and I would tag along with her as if we were playing follow the leader. My sister, who was four at the time, followed because it was in her nature to. I followed because all I wanted to do was learn to be cool too.

On this particular day, my cousin Veronica and I were out in the yard laying on the grass, contemplating on what to do with our day. I was never the one out the the two of us to come up with any ideas for I never had any cool ones to come up with. I would take the backseat and follow her lead. This is why I was shocked when an innocent comment on my part, evolved into a moment that would change my life forever.

“I’m in the mood for some sour gummy worms.” I thought to myself out loud. Veronica shot up and mentioned what a great idea that was. “Wait, what idea??” I was clueless.

Instantly a plan was concocted to somehow obtain some money and head over to the store to buy ourselves some candy. Half of our plan was easy, getting to the store. We would just walk there. Sure, it was dangerous. We had to cross an intersection, four lanes of traffic flowing both ways, but all we needed to do was look both ways before we crossed. No biggie. The other half of our plan is what needed tweaking. How would we get money to buy candy? We couldn’t ask our parents. They’d want to know why we needed the money which would lead them to find out we were heading to the store. They’d never just let us walk there.

At that very moment her and I were brainstorming, a neighbor of mine pulls into her parking spot just a few doors down from where we lived. She was the nicest lady ever and I remembered back then I always wondered why she lived alone. That’s when I was struck by another “brilliant” idea. Apparently the second one of the day, I was on a roll. I explained to Veronica that all we had to is get the lady to chit chat with us, we would bring up the fact that it was our friend’s birthday and that we wanted to get to the store to buy her a birthday card and some candy but that we had no money. I was almost sure that the lady would give us some. I wasn’t sure if the plan was full proof but it wouldn’t hurt to try.

By mere luck, or very good acting, we had gotten the lady to donate $10 to the cause. After explaining to her that our parents never had money, her look of pity fell upon us, and due to the fact that she had nothing smaller than a 10 dollar bill in her wallet, let us have it in order to “make your friend happy”.

We couldn’t have grabbed the money any quicker when we heard my mom’s voice calling for us. I stashed the money in the pocket of my neon blue shorts as we walked up to our porch where my mother stood.

“There you two are,” she smiled. “Take your sister to play with you. But don’t go where I can’t keep an eye out for you.” I began to debate immediately. I didn’t want my sister to tag along. This was bull crap.

There’s no arguing with mom… ever. With a frown on my face and heavy stomps of my feet, the final signs of rebellion, the three of us headed down the steps, and only when my mother had gone back inside had we redirected ourselves towards the store.

The walk towards the store, reaching the intersection, those moments feel like a blur to me. Blurry snapshots of events that seem unimaginable, but that happened. One moment the three of us are giggling at nothing in particular, discussing what kind of candy we were all to get. The next moment, we’re almost to the intersection when my sister, who I was holding hands with at the time, pulls from my grasp and darts out and away from of me laughing playfully, her giggles still echoing in my ear.  The world slowed down at that very second.

A small blue car. High pitched screeching. A man runs up to me, he’s so blonde he looks like the sun, and he’s yelling.

“Where’s your mother????!!!…” and he then runs off again. I watch him to see where he runs to when I see the tiny little mound of flesh lying in the street that is my sister. She’s shouting out for my mom, her shouts then over powered by emergency sirens.

It was a miracle that my sister lived. I believe that the fact that she was so small is why she hadn’t been completely destroyed by a car that was going over 50 miles per hour. Her tiny body had been launched almost 50ft. She had broken both legs, lost most of her baby teeth, and had severe road rash to most of her body.

This phase of my life had been full of guilt and sorrow. So much so that today a lot of it still remains in the corners of my heart, shadowing the depths of my mind, only to be felt when I decide to let my guard down. It’s a pain that I will never truly lose for I feel as though I am a big reason as to much of the suffering my sister has had in the past. Even though I feel as though my sister is my twin soul and that our relationship with one another has been lived out through multiple past lives, creating much of the bond that we have today, I know that this tragic even that happened more than two decades ago has bonded us even tighter than we have ever been in any life before.

At the age of 8 is when I discovered tragedy and what it could mean for someone to lose a life. It had been the first time I got to experience first hand pure sadness and guilt knowing that I played a major part in someone  else’s physical and emotional pain. Trauma has made its way into my mind and has camped there for years. Today it’s hard for me to causally cross a street without imagining death lurking there, waiting for me.Today I still cope with what happened all those years ago with flashbacks and anxiety. Still it is a moment in life that I am grateful to have gone through, because no matter how much pain it’s dressed up in, there is a good that is greater than all the darkness it has shadowed. A beautiful light that was bestowed upon a horrific disaster. It took my sister over a year to fully recover. Today she is the most beautiful and loving person I know. She radiates the room when she walks into it with her smile. Today you would never even have imagined that she went through such an ordeal.  Today I am blessed to have her.

040-2 Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Muse: Natal Galvan, Angie M.