All I’ve really been doing the last couple of months is contemplating. I think about everything. I think about where I was a year ago, or 5 years ago. I think about the people I have met along the way, and have also lost within this process called life. I mourn the loss of those who are still alive but are no longer with us. I think about certain things that I would never even think twice about before. Like, why I’ve gone to the beach more since moving back to New Jersey then I did the entire time it was living in Florida. I find myself wondering how I have gotten into a stagnant routine or which I’m constantly craving more for myself but yet can’t take steps towards changing certain things in order to get the ball rolling my direction. I think about how I’ve gotten in my own way, and although I would love to blame this pandemic, I can only truly blame myself. I think about how my passions such as writing and painting have taken a back seat to drinking and thinking. I guess the silver lining to all of this is that at least I’m thinking.
A COV(ert)ID Silverlining
When all of this “virus” chatter began, I will admit that I wasn’t fully convinced at the gravity of it all. I blame our government and media outlets for that. They have broken my trust on many levels, so pardon me that it took me some time to believe what was being said. Lucky for me I learned at a young age to look outside of mainstream media sources and to dig deeper when seeking out the truth. Slowly I began to ingest what was truly going on and instead of brushing it off as, once again, another media-driven hysteria, I began to heed what was being warned. For me, it went from being “virus” chatter to serious virus talk.
I am currently on day 8 of our “official” lockdown and although I have been able to see friends and family periodically, it was only in the last three days that I have chosen to completely isolate myself, and not for the reasons that you may think.
Amid all the calamity this virus has brought to our front doors, I’d like to think of all this as a necessary evil for society and what’s left of this starving planet Earth.
I might get shit for calling this pandemic a “necessary evil”. How could I say such a thing when so many people have died? But like a war, a battle being fought for the greater good, it has its deaths by the thousands of the guilty and of the innocent alike; it is exactly that, war. This type of war, however, isn’t to bring together land and eradicate manmade borders. This war is an internal war, not only physically but spiritually and emotionally. It’s a war to remind us of where we came from. It’s a war for time, because humanity needed time. Humanity needed a break from it all.
The last three days have been filled with a lot of self-reflection. I’ve been taking a look inside myself, asking myself questions, and having discussions that I should’ve had long ago. I limited my T.V time and within the silence, I have found sparks of creativity. I’m able to connect with nature better and I even feel as though the Universe speaks to me louder and more clearly without all the every day static I had grown conditioned to. I have learned to be a little more resourceful and a lot less wasteful. I’ve become more aware of the immediate things I must change to improve who I am. I’ve become aware of the things I will gradually give up in order to live my version of a better life.
Some people end up finding themselves while lost at sea. Some find themselves after veering off track and getting lost in the wilderness. We have been given the chance to find ourselves within the confines (and comfort) of our own home. We have been given that extra bit of vacation time. We have been given the chance to learn from crisis hoarders, that greed leads you nowhere other than to the land of Overloaded and Nowhere To Store It. We have been given extra time with our family, with our pets, with our crafts. We have been given the space to work on ourselves; the time to detox from everything that has been pumped into our senses.
I have read that for us here in the U.S it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. I also hear that “getting better” still means that we’re going to be set back about a decade. Whether any of that is true or not, I don’t know. We’ll call it what it is, speculation. I say that if at the end of all of this there is more genuine happiness within homes all around the world, genuine happiness within our own home, and with one’s self than I’ll pay that price. In the end, we are all going to be going through it together and there is comfort in that. This is a covert opportunity to change humanity in wonderful ways if only we begin to choose love before greed. We have the ability to rebuild a stronger and better world by going through such adversity together. I wish that through all if this social distancing and social isolation, after all the souls who have passed on because of this virus, we end up choosing to do good to one another.
“We will have suffered together, we will have fought through it together, and we will overcome together.”
This Round of Retrograde
Let me tell you a bit about how I’ve been fairing during this retrograde. It has literally been kicking my ass.
It began uneventful. I remember thinking to myself, “Is it possible? Will I be able to get away unscathed this time around?” The instant I thought it, I wanted to kick myself because at that moment I felt as though I had jinxed myself.
By day four life was still smooth sailing and I figured that maybe, just maybe that by realizing I had jinxed myself days before, I had inadvertently jinxed the jinx and it had just canceled each other out. I mean, in life anything is possible, right?
WRONG!!! SO SO SO WRONG!!!
If you’re not big into astrology and universal vibrations, things of this nature, you must be thinking, “What the fuck is this person even talking about? Retro-what now?” I totally understand that. I also understand that many of you won’t care for specifics as to the details of what mercury’s retrograde is and other’s who have heard of it and find it to be a bunch of baloney. Short description for those of you who are interested is a 3 week period that happens every few months in which the planet Mercury shifts differently within its rotation throwing off the balance of how certain things operate. During this period communication with others is poor, electronics malfunction, travel plans become more difficult to follow through with, and every thing is more accident prone. Luck isn’t very much on your side, anyone’s side really. If you find the topic interesting or feel as though it’s pretty relateable to you, I do suggest looking it up and doing further research on it.
I am a HUGE believer in all of this and the last few days have been a testament to its validity. Its almost as if the Universe has decided to turn my life into the poster child of the unluckiness this period of time can be.
A week ago today is when it all began. It was my last day off before I had to return to work for the weekend. I took myself out to breakfast to my favorite local diner. After a delicious meal and a bit of relaxation, it was time to head out and continue with the day’s errands. As I get into my car and go to start it, dead. Alright, no biggie. I’ve got a power box in the back seat so I hook it up to the battery and jump it.
I continue on about my day without much of glitch until later on that evening I decide to log onto my bank site to check on things when I noticed that airline tickets were purchased with my card. Living in a metropolitan area one finds that this happens all the time. Since moving to South East Florida I have had to get my account suspended and card replaced numerous times. This time was no different, it would be 5-7 business days before I would receive it. I could get a temporary card from the bank to hold me over but unfortunately it was already late in the evening and banks were closed and I worked all day Friday and the entire weekend. It was no problem really. I would just patiently wait.
The next morning it became a problem. My car wasn’t starting and I had to get t work. I was running early to work until I spent 15 mins trying to get it to start. I gave up, went upstairs to wash up, and decided on calling an Uber and dealing with the car trouble later.
Uber: “Unable to process payment. Please reenter payment option below”
Since my bank account is suspended any links to it would be too. I have no other forms of plastic and therefore no other means of independently getting to work so I opted to ring a friend. I made it to work an hour late but just in time to help with the rush. A nice and busy day is what my wallet needed especially now with the unexpected car troubles waiting for me once I got home.
I had a quick dinner with a coworker of mine. After work we decided on grabbing a bite to eat and then went our separate ways, her on her bike, me in an old school taxi cab. On the way home I realized that, me not being used to having to call cabs, had used most of my cash at dinner so if I wanted to leave the driver a tip Id have to run up to my apartment to grab some. We arrived and I quickly explained the situation, exited the cab, ran up, and then down again in seconds. It hadn’t been until 30-45 mins later, once I polished off the rest of my left over dinner, that I realized that my phone was missing. I had left it in the cab.
Without my phone I have no internet. Since moving into this apartment I hadn’t splurged on buying internet for a couple different reasons, one of them being that Xfinity is the only provider in this area and I REFUSE to use Comcast/Xfinity. Instead, I decided to just use my mobile hot spot. That choice was all fine and dandy until now. Without internet or my phone, there was no way of contacting anyone. So here I am, no car, no debit card, no phone, and no internet. Great….
I set the oven timer as my morning alarm and went to bed. I had to work at 9 am the next day and I would need the rest.
Its been exactly one week since things in my life started to tank. I was able to get through the weekend, getting to work and back with the help of neighbors and coworkers. I’ve had off from work since Tuesday (its Thursday now) but haven’t really enjoyed or relaxed because I have been having to deal with one thing or the other. I’m still waiting to get my card. I’m truly hoping (fingers crossed) that it arrives today. Cabs are way too expensive.
After battling with Verizon’s RIDICULOUS process of filing a claim on a lost phone, they shipped me a phone last night so I should be getting it today. My car? It’s no more. I’ve come to the final realization that it is truly time to sell her.
Has this week been an easy week? No, not one bit. Yet, I will say that up until yesterday I have handled everything pretty well if you were to ask me. I say “until yesterday” because after realizing that Verizon still hadn’t shipped out my phone due to “insufficient documentation” I freaked out a bit. Luckily it was just the pets and I that got to bare witness to my mini meltdown. As soon as it was over (it took approximately 5 mins from start to finish) I felt so much better.
I sat and thought about my entire situation, and although many wouldn’t agree with me, I say that it all could have been much worse. I was lucky that my car hadn’t broken down anywhere else, leaving me stranded. I was lucky enough to have had a dear friend of mine (really one of the only two I have here) help me with sending in the paperwork for my phone, rides to and from work, ect. I was lucky to have had the last 3 days off so that I had time to deal with all of this. I’m also lucky in the way that I love reading, and writing, and was able to entertain myself through these while not having a phone or internet to distract me.
In the next couple of weeks I will be going through some major life changes. I can’t help but think that this period of retrograde was a true end to all of what no longer serves me. A tearing down of what was in order to make way for the rebuild of what’s to come. I am excited. Months ago I had begun to minimize the junk in my life. I wanted to not just start over from scratch but to maintain the lightness of what it feels to be free. Free of gadgets, materialistic shit I never use, freedom of always having to stay connected, freedom from obligations or expectations placed upon me, not for my benefit but for the sake of other’s happiness. This past week has shown me a lot. It has freed me from certain things and has reminded me that life isn’t what makes it comfortable. Life is about living in the moments, embracing its natural beauty of all that is around us. Life is also about the moments of discomfort, because those are the moments that allow for us to grow much taller and s Continue reading
Judgement Free Zone Please
Human beings tend to forget that we are indeed that, human beings. Some people place certain humans on such a pedestal that when that person “fucks up” or does something that goes against what another would do, those who once supported that individual feel cheated or lied to. I laugh at that. It is one of the silliest mistakes people make.
A good person can make an “evil” mistake. A sad person can be happy. A positive person can be depressed. A selfless person can make a “selfish” decision. Who is anyone to criticize and judge the choices made by others? Do we live their lives? Do we walk in their shoes? Is it fair to question the choices they make for themselves without understanding the situation they are in?
It blows my mind to watch family members and “friends” be most critical of their loved ones. People who claim to be supportive, accepting, and understanding are actually the first to disagree over a decision made, their conditioned minds allowing them to feel as though they could have done things differently or even better. I tend to try to stay away from people of this caliber. Life can get pretty tough at times so why keep people like that close?
Since childhood we are told stories, certain tales spoken through allegories of how everyone is created uniquely different. This is what keeps the world beautiful, unique, and interesting. As children we accept this wholeheartedly. It is as if we are already born with this knowledge and aren’t aware that there is another way to think until it is brought to our attention. It is only as we become older that we forget this known little fact and begin to criticize the people around us. Whether it is because we are conditioned by society, by our loved ones, or by strangers who begin to infiltrate our minds with tainted garbage.
Times are tough right now for people all across the globe and while in some ways we have to begin to hold each other accountable for certain things, it is also time that we let up on one another. It is crucial for humanity that we begin to support those around us in ways of understanding and encouragement. This doesn’t mean that you must compromise your beliefs or ways of happiness. It just means that instead of belittling one another, we instead try to understand each other and accept that we are individually different. So the next time someone you know makes a decision you may find questionable, try to understand and if you cant, you don’t have to. Simply support because at the end of the day, it is their lives they are trying to work out, not yours.
As soon as I publicly voiced my plans on moving back home I had quite a number of people reach out to me questioning why.
“Why would you ever come back here? Why leave Florida to come back to this?”
It’s a natural question especially coming from those who have never left home. For someone like me who has been away from home for 12 years now, the question is a bit silly. My answer is simple. I’m ready to head back home.
I first left NJ when I was 20 years old. I had just gone through a very painful breakup. I was tired of my town and all of the surrounding areas. I had been born and raised in the same area and although I knew quite a few people from all sorts of different backgrounds, I was bored of it all. There was an entire world to see. I would be damned if I where to just stay in one spot my whole life.
I took off to Florida in February of 2008 and I have pretty much lived in every major area of South Florida except for Miami. I also moved within that time to California and lived there for exactly one year before heading back to the East Coast with my tail between my legs (you may have won the battle but not yet the war CA! *shakes fist dramatically in the air*).
I have experienced so many different kinds of adventures, and been on so many journeys, some bad, most good. I’ve gone through many lessons and although life lessons will never cease to exist, every single one I’ve been through up until now has helped me discover who I am. I believe that without discovering and learning about who we really are, not just as people, but also as individual souls, without knowing that you can’t possibly enjoy life for what it really is. How can you enjoy it if you are always questioning yourself, your likes, your dislikes, your boundaries, your desires? How can you create your reality when you barely know your dreams? Not society’s, not your family’s, but your own. Moments of introspection and self-discovery are key to experiencing and living life in the best way we can for ourselves.
I once left home because I was tired of being around the same old, to learn more about myself, and to see what I was capable of. Now I go home because I’m ready to be around all those that know me and love me for me and always have even before I truly knew myself. I am ready to be around familiar surroundings. I can take what I’ve learned about myself and apply it to my everyday life and do something special with with it alongside of the support and love of my family and friends.
I am running towards what I once ran away from. Although I will never lose my itch to discover, that is what traveling is made for. I will always be nomadic. It is in my blood. My move back home may not even be forever, who knows!? I, however, do know that home is where the heart is and I’m headed on back.
Try as you might to avoid certain headaches in life, it is almost certain that your plans to do so may fall short or, simply put, may not go according to plan at all.
One of the many reasons I have chosen to not have children is because I am selfish and other than my own personal issues and struggles (trust me I have many) I do not feel like I’d like to add anymore challenges to the mix. Yet, just because I have decided to refrain from bringing into this world a nondetachable relationship (because I don’t care what anyone says, children are for life) that doesn’t mean that those that are already a part of my life won’t bring in moments of turmoil or heartache. Now matter how cold and selfish I may seem sometimes, the ones I have come to love unconditionally can always count on me for help.
I recently had a friend fall from the high ranks of sobriety down into the pits of darkness. It only took a few months for his life to snake out of control and in that time it began to affect mine. It’s crazy how the mind works because I knew the signs, I had observed the escalation for months prior to me finding out for sure that they had been using again, but still, I didn’t want to believe. Prior to this I had just ended an unhealthy relationship due to the person’s substance abuse problems. After watching what I had gone through with that individual there was no way my friend was about to put me in the same position, right? WRONG. It’s in the nature of this ugly beast to muddy up reasoning, rational, and selflessness. The person tainted by this monster is no longer the considerate loving soul you once knew but instead the shell and the soul of a stranger is what’s left. My life was full of chaos and uncertainty. I was constantly wondering if the next time I’d see this person if they would be alive or dead. It was heartbreaking for me to have lost such a confidant and friend. The person who was always there for me in the last couple years was no where to be found and instead this unco was left in his place. Stealing, lying, and self-destruction were now what this individual was into and although I tend to avoid all unhappy and unhealthy situations, this is not one I could just turn and walk away from. How could I? At the end of the day, it wasn’t me they were truly hurting. In fact, their embarrassment and humiliation as to what they were up to lead to him completely avoid me so as to not hurt me any further than our lost friendship had already done.
To make what could very well turn into a super long story short, I recently took my dear friend to a detox center. After a few days he will be moved to an inpatient facility for some well needed addiction treatment and mental health care. It’s been a few days and it is only just now that I realize how much strain this was putting me through emotionally.
Today, I laugh at myself at how naive I was to believe that I am somehow am able to control what crisis I will and will not go through in life. Sure, you can try to reduce the amount of exposure you have to certain situations. For instance not walking alone in the city at night may reduce the number of chances you have of getting robbed. To say that you won’t form bonds with people in order to avoid unpleasantries in life is delusional. It is my strong opinion that if life wants you to go through a difficult ordeal of any sort, try as you might, you will go through it. These are the life lessons that are meant to help us grow and learn. These moments truly do help us to evolve into much better, stronger, and wiser people. Watching them go through their own struggle and me having to learn how to cope with the situation has allowed me take a look at my own life introspectively. The only thing that we can truly count on is that the lessons of life will keep on coming, there is no dodging it, and it is up to us how much we take away from it.
Contending With Honesty
My relationship with honesty has always been irregular.
As a kid, I would make up stories even about the most typical parts of my life. I had my reasons, though. It wasn’t because I loved lying. I used to hate to think about it as lying. I chose to think of it as storytelling. I told stories to fit in with the crowd. I used to think that all the kids I met had cool lives. I wanted a cool life too and so I would spruce up certain things about mine just to make me feel like I was like them.
I did eventually grow out of it. It was exhausting, not only portraying someone that you’re not, but it was hard to realize that others would in turn read me wrong. I felt like no one really knew me, let alone understood me, and how could they? I wasn’t giving anyone the real version of me. As I got into high school being honest soon started to become my new addiction. So much so, that I became brutally honest. That began a totally new battle. Instead of before when my battle with honesty seemed more internal, now it was starting to become a more physical battle with others.
I became explosive with my honesty. If I was feeling a certain way about something, I was letting you know whether you wanted to listen or not. There was no sugar coating anything. What for? To add confusion? To allow someone to believe that things were one way when in reality it wasn’t, or to soften the blow? I felt as though that was all wasting time and why do that? Arguments with people would ensue, be it with friends or family. Then that too started to become exhausting.
It wasn’t until my 20’s, once I moved away from home and began to really look into my self, that I began looking at life and how to handle it differently. Soul searching provided me with a different view on how to approach certain aspects of life, especially that of being honest. I learned that it was important to share your thoughts and your true feelings with others so that there would less confusion and more understanding. It was OK to be brutal but just as easily OK to soften the blows, and that there was a time and place. Yet, since then I have come to understand that I now have a new hill to climb. I now struggle with the patience that must be had when it comes to others and their understanding of honesty.
To me, I see honesty as a privilege that we should be allowed to have. It should be our prerogative, as human beings, to want to express it as well as be able to receive it. The thing is, people only see life and everything about it, from their own perspective. Human beings are so self absorbed in their own lives and feelings towards it, that they tend to forget that others that they are sharing this existence with my have a different spin on what they share as the same situation. That’s how feelings get dismissed and how lives become discounted and discredited.
Take, for instance, a “break up” (if we could even call it that) I had about 4 years ago. A good friend of mine and I were becoming reacquainted again after my move back from CA. We began going on dates here and there, which later then turned into midnight escapades. It was fun but only until I started realizing that he was falling hard and I, simply put, just wanted to have fun. I was honest and explained that him and I were on two different planes in life and although everything was fine, I simply did not see him “in that way” and felt that it would only be right to end what was going on. It was difficult for me to do because I knew of how he felt for me. Who wants to break someone’s heart? Yet, I couldn’t lead him on or waste his time nor mine. His reaction wasn’t good. He hated me of course and called me every name in the book. He went on to talk shit about me to all his friends, spewing all sorts of negativity to anyone who would listen. I was in shock. I knew he was going to be upset, but to the point that he had spoken so ill of me? I was in shock because I hadn’t understood what he had wanted me to do. Had he wanted me to lie to him and put up a charade all so his ego’s needs could be met? It took so much patience to not lash out the way I wanted to about that situation and that’s only one example. I see it everyday with the people I come in contact with , the battles we all have with honesty and all the internal and external struggles it comes with. So are battles with honesty that irregular then? Or is it actually more common than we considering human beings and how we think, which is in mainly an introspectively self absorbed way.
I place a high value on honesty when it comes to terms with myself and others. I choose to be a woman of integrity and want for my character to always be able to be described as open, honest, and approachable. I want to be receptive because if I want to be heard, I too need to listen in order to understand.
I guess maybe these aren’t even battles with honesty at all. It’s just learning life.
3 Days In
I have officially been 32 for three days now and although I have always known that I would love my 30’s, I didn’t think I was going to do so as much I do.
I feel powerful and assertive. I am truly comfortable in my own skin. I love that even though I may not know exactly what I want in all aspects of my life, I do know exactly what I want (or don’t want) right now.
“Do I want to pick up that work shift tonight? Nope. Do I want to date seriously right now? Nope. Do I feel like going on a random adventure to wherever the heck I want? Hell Yes! Am I going to wait around for others in order to realize my dreams? Nope.”
I’m not concerned about others and their role in my life as I once to be. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I care about those that are in my life. I am nice to strangers. I love and cherish humanity. All I’m saying is that I cannot and will not place my life and my potential level of happiness in their hands.
Most of my early to mid 20’s were lived thinking that I knew so much when in actuality I knew nothing at all. Not only that but I was constantly making decisions based on other’s wants and needs instead of my own. Back then I had no clue what I truly wanted. Once I was humbled and began to realize all of this, I was opened to a deeper sense of self-discovery. My late 20’s was the beginning stage of my core self-discovery, because let us be real, life is ultimately about self-discovery. I discovered my core “self” and what it needed and wanted. These past couple of years of entering and beginning my 30’s has been a time of implementation. I have been working on better decision making, and when I say “better” I mean better for myself, as well as taking steps towards goals I have always wanted to keep for myself.
Now I can say that my ways have changed just like the taste buds on a tongue’s pallet. My inner child lives on but its thinking has gotten a bit more wise; a bit more acquired. I look forward to all the happiness I’m going to be bringing upon myself. I’ve got this new zest to life and it’s slowly awakening my life’s purpose.
There is an internal battle I’m having between what I am and what I want to turn “this” into. The problem is, I don’t really know what I am and I’m not too sure what I want to turn “this” into.
What is “this”? It’s my writing.
I have so many ideas swimming around constantly in my head and lately I’ve taken so much time off of writing that now my brain feels as if it is over flowing with topics and ideas to write about. Yet as I sit here and try to put something together, it all falls onto the paper as a jumbled mess. It’s almost as if my ideas have been puttied together and I don’t seem to have a clue as to how to pull them back apart. Everything from short stories, to novels, to comedy skits, to movie plots and story lines. I even have a fictional character whom I’d love to make into it’s own “thing”; its own entity.
I’m not sure if those that read this will understand what I’m currently feeling. I would suspect that most won’t and will look at this as a sort of “yammering on” type of blog piece but I’m sure there will be a handful that can understand my current struggle. If I were someone else giving me advice, I would say to me that time will disclose what path to take. I would say to not worry so much about where you’re headed but more on the “right now” since it is the present that is gifting you the experience for whatever ends up being your mission later.
It’s good advice if I do say so myself. It’s a great reminder that everything has a “season and a reason”. For now I’ll have to settle for simply sifting out my thoughts while making sure to just keep on writing them all down.
Death always has a way of stirring up thoughts and emotions that one sometimes ignores.
My grandmother almost died last week. The little firecracker put a real scare into everyone. All seven of her kids flew to Colombia to be by her side. A couple days later she made almost a full recovery. As full of a recovery that an 86 year old lady who just happened to catch a bad case of pneumonia could. She also had blood clots forming in her lungs which is what made the doctors question how much longer the little lady had to live.
The scare reunited the family together. For a week they all stayed by her side, laughing, crying, reminiscing over the good and bad times they have shared together. For me, my grandmother’s close to death experience made me think long and hard about all of the sacrifices this woman had to make in life raising 8 children, losing one of them, all while married to a husband who hadn’t loved her as much as he should have. It made me think about my life and how I never wanted to sacrifice my entire existence to please others instead of pleasing myself.
I hadn’t realized how unhappy I had recently become until a few things happened that triggered a shut down. When I say I shut down I mean I shut down. Other than getting up for work and robotically moving throughout my workday, I couldn’t muster up any energy to do anything else. No writing. No painting. No socializing. All I wanted was to come home, crawl into my bed and get lost in a world of Netflix and YouTube videos. The night would end and the next day would start, the same routine all over again. I was depressed and I hadn’t even realized it until an argument was had with the guy I was seeing which really placed things into perspective for me, which was then followed by the news of my grandmother’s declining health.
I decided to take certain matters of mine into my own hands. I made a firm decision to walk away from a situation that wasn’t working for me. It’s been a few days and I can’t say I regret doing so. I hadn’t realized how stressed out I was before, and now that changes have been made it is like my days are a little brighter and I go about my life like a summer breeze, cool and calm. I feel like I am almost back to being me again. Even as I sit here and write this I wonder how I could let such outside forces really determine whether or not I have time to do the things I love to do. I blame myself for giving so much of me that I had no energy to then give to myself. It is a lesson I learned before but I guess I had forgotten about. I will not forget again. I will not lose myself or lose the energy to do for myself to simply make others happy.
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