Tag Archives: personal

the precipice of change

I have been noticeably absent from this page for nearly a month, at a real loss for words of importance.

What had seemed important, what had felt was needed, has not felt the same in this new year. Last year was a hard one for me, and my family, as we had this internal struggle and collective unease about the direction of our lives. My husband was torn with being with us, and needing the presence of his family located on the other side of the country. I felt lost in my own head, aching at the absence of people who had distracted me from myself and weak to my naturally inclined sadness. I think that our children felt the weight of our distress.

This year is something different altogether, as cliche as that may sound. #NewYearNewMe is not uncommon on social media, though we all know that most people lack depth behind that proclamation. Because, really, how many people stuck with it once January ended?

I digress, though.

There are times in my life when my unsettled spirit stirs, when it feels something big coming on, some storm of excitement on the horizon. Things are going to change dramatically for us in the coming months, and the changes themselves are not what has me feeling anxious.

There is a certain euphoria that I get from unpredictability, from the unknown, for all things different.

Blame it on my gypsy soul. I’ve said it countless times, and yet, the statement fails to capture what exactly I mean. I live for those wild moments, those times when things do not go according to plan, even they send me into chaos. I daydream of grand changes in our lives, things that take us to a new path of life. So, when things feel too stale, I make a change. I get a haircut. I get a tattoo, something arty. I take up a new goal or project, knowing that I’ll most likely become too restless and just let it fall apart in the end.

But this time, this time there is a big change in our lives coming. I am unsettled in a new way, like I am getting ready for everything that is going to be different this year. I’ve felt the oncoming change deep down, and I wholeheartedly trust that intuition.

I chopped off most of my hair, a good 9 or 10 inches, and dyed it purple. I felt like I had to do something radical, and a secret part of me reveled in the mixed reactions that I received from strangers and those that I am more acquainted with. Don’t like it? I don’t really care; this is what I need for me.

Half of my house is packed up, although there is no concrete destination for where those items will be re-homed. The entire family feels pulled to Florida, to a new and fresh start, and we only become more anxious as the matters of rationality hinder our progress. Of course, we try to stay reasonable, we devise back up  plans in the case that circumstances do not fall in our favor. But it almost feels like we are already gone, our hearts and souls are just not here anymore, despite how much that hurts the people that we care about here.

There is still the possibility that the cards will not play out the way that we want. My sister tells me, however, that our will to move on will only help the universe give us what we desire. I don’t know if I can fully believe that, but I do know that our intuition, our gut feelings, are telling us that we are meant to head East.

And I have to hold on to that feeling because the thought of being rooted in a place so draining, so depressing, makes my heart ache unbearably.

The Rational Choice.

It was there at the tip of my tongue– the admission that I have always thought but never really said aloud. Every cell in my body wanted to admit this thing, this fact about me that I am afraid he would frown upon.

We were lying in our bed, as we so often do, just talking quietly in the dark while we curled together. These are some of my favorite times with my husband. With my head tucked safely into my favorite little spot on his shoulder, I wanted to tell my husband my one true aspiration and dream for my life.

I don’t want to work a single day in my life. I want to sit around, drinking coffee and writing. 

Writing– it is the one thing that I obsess over, even though I am a writer with a serious case of ADD. Honestly, he already knows this about me. He knows how I have dreams of publishing one of those New York Time’s Best Sellers. But I have not really said aloud how that is all I want to do. I don’t even care if it brings any money. I just want to write without the obligation of anything else.

I never really admit it because it is a self-centered idea. Writers are notoriously selfish and isolated from the rest of the world. We hide in little corners, immersed and obsessed with our characters, dialogue, and tragedies. It is the single-most selfish thing that I could wish to do with my life, which is really our life, and I desperately want it.

Writing is not a rational career choice, however. Few have the chance to make it big, and it is not always a matter of talent but instead marketability. English majors are so often left with mountains of debt and not a pair of pennies to rub together. This is why I changed my major to business, why I have decided to go for one of those goals that is more like settling than chasing after my dreams. Owning a book store and cafe is somehow more sensible in my mind than pursuing a writing career. Even then, I may run myself into the ground because I’ll spend too much time with my nose in a book.

I did admit to my husband that earning my business degree is more like a second-class goal for me. I have to do something with myself, so why not? He told me the most beautiful thing, though. “You don’t really have to do anything if you don’t want to. I make enough on my own, you don’t even have to work.” He even told me that reading this blog feels like reading the work of a professional on a news site. My heart really soared at this, and I wondered why I am trying to settle.

Don’t get me wrong, owning a book store and cafe is still in the sights for me. It is realistic, and I have some amazing business ideas that really shouldn’t go to waste. But the problem is that I know that it will get to a point where it will lose it shine and luster. I will lose interest in it. I will get tired of sacrificing for it. There will come a point where I want a new business project and the shop will get pushed to the dark corners of my priorities.

Admitting that I just want to write and do nothing else means several things. Firstly, it means that it is entirely possible that there will never come a day when I can contribute to the household’s income. Sure, there are some writers that make it small, that publish independently and make a moderate amount of e-book sales. But the ones who really make a living from writing are the ones who have movies made from their works, and that is a total long shot. Secondly, it means that I have put us in debt with student loans for no reason. I will have earned two degrees and I will do nothing with them. He will be responsible for the debt that I have incurred.

How is that a fair choice for him? How could I leave him to work while I get to sit at home writing? I think that I have never seriously admitted to wanting to write full time because I’m afraid of being seen as lazy. It seems like such an indolent career, if it could even be called a career, because there is no real labor in the work. When all he does is labor-oriented, when he works so hard, how would it be right for me to do something that is such the opposite?

I think that my real question here is how do we choose passion over rationality?

How do we choose to do that which we love most when the world says that it is not the sensible thing to do?

When we crave to color outside the lines, how do we force ourselves to keep it neat?

for the non-road-rager

(Warning: serious explicit language used here. I’ve got a potty mouth and I like to use it!)

If any of you have followed me on Facebook for any length of time, you will know that I go seriously aggro on bad traffic. And it’s not that I am a bad driver, or that I am unnecessarily pissed off at everyone on the road… No. It is that I cannot stand to be driving near idiots. I typically drive in heavy traffic screaming the Ludacris lyrics “Move bitch, get out the way! Get out the way, bitch, get out the way!” My kids have heard every cuss word known to man because of my screaming at idiots. Yeah, it’s that bad.

Traffic jam because there is an accident on the opposite side of the highway? I’m irate. People who fail to use signaling? Oh, you bet that I’m fucking irritated. I have lived in this border city (El Paso, Texas for those of you who don’t know) off and on for 17 years. The most maddening thing about this city is that it has grown exponentially, only to be left with roads that are inadequate for the growth and in constant repair.

So, I thought that I would write up some rules of etiquette for the non-road-rager. If you are the calm and patient driver, these are the rules that will help you avoid the wrath of people like me. These are the rules that you need to follow before I ram my car into yours.

bad-drivers_o_2230905

1. Don’t be a cheeky twat. There is no need for you to look into my car at a stop light. I will immediately assume that you are either a bitch, just trying to size me up, or a perv trying to check me out. It’ll give me the creeps, it will be awkward for us both, so it’s just better that we keep our eyes in our own car. Plus, I don’t need you seeing my messy kids in the back. I don’t need your judgment.

2. If you insist on being in the fast lane, remain the speed of the cars in front and behind you. Don’t want to speed? Fine, then get the fuck out of my way. It is not your problem if I get pulled over or die in a fiery crash, so don’t try to control my speed by trapping me behind you.

3. Don’t be a cock-blocker. This rule of etiquette is really kind of an amendment to the first. If I am stuck behind a slow person, don’t come up on my left and keep pace with me. Yeah, I get it, you are getting a kick out of boxing me in and denying me passage through you fuckers… but I am an impatient woman and I just can’t handle that. I get claustrophobic, I need to be freeeeee.

4. This one is important. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, USE YOUR GODDAMN BLINKER! I don’t care if you are in a ‘Turn Only’ lane. I don’t care if there is no one directly behind you. Those annoying little clickers are there for a reason! Use them!

morpheus-on-driving

5. I only mentioned this briefly before, but don’t slow down for an accident that is on the opposite side of the highway. Don’t be a fuckin looky-loo. You don’t need to see what happened, and you’ll only make me wreck my pretty, gorgeous blue Jeep in the process. And then I’ll be pissed. And I’ll be super pissed if my kids are in the car with me. You have been warned.

6. I don’t know if anyone told you, but it’s illegal just about everywhere to hold a phone to your ear while driving. And there is a good reason for that. You are crap at driving with that at your ear. Use a goddamn bluetooth like everyone else.

7. If road work signs tell us a mile back that the left lane is closed ahead, don’t pull a douche move and stay in that lane until you have to squeeze your p.o.s. in front of me. Don’t pretend that you didn’t see that sign. Everyone saw that sign. And you are a serious asshole for ignoring it, only to cut me off later.

merge

8. Whether you are merging onto the highway, or you are merging onto a busy road from an access, move your ass to the same rate as everyone else. Don’t try this bullshit where you get on at 40 mph in a 60 zone. I, as the driver who has already successfully entered the lane, should not have to slam on my fucking brakes because you decide to be a dillhole! Speed the fuck up, people!

9. Another amendment: when merging from an access area, don’t swing into the far lane. The first lane is always the appropriate area. If oncoming traffic is able to change lanes to make it easier for you, they will. But don’t make them lose control of their shit because you are a fucking moron. Either speed up or slow down and get the fuck in as safely as possible.

And finally…

10. For you road-ragers like me: don’t fuckin tailgate. I’m a bitch who lives in a state where the person in the rear of the accident is always at fault. I will slam on my fucking brakes just because I am tired of you being up my ass. Defensive driving says to keep a distance of 4 seconds for 60 mph; back the fuck off.

bad-drivers-bad

I know I seem overly angry or resentful in this. I am really not. I am just tired of licenses being handed out to any motherfucker who can study and answer a few questions.

Get it together, people.

On a side note, I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!!

the burdens we carry

It isn’t often that I feel helpless or useless. It isn’t often that I feel like a burden, either.

(My post today is ironic when compared to the last, but I guess that just goes to show how the tides can change for someone who is bipolar.)

It is amazing how someone can seem so calm and unworried on the surface, but be a ball of stress within. It can be even more amazing when someone shows you that anxiety and cracks the facade that they keep at all other times.

My husband is a remarkably strong man. He works without complaint to be the sole provider of our family, but I never realized until yesterday how much that eats at him. He has an amazing amount of ambition, but that ambition may be more of a burden than a gift.

And this is where I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. There is so much that he wants for our lives, but there is nothing that I can really do to help at this point. Yesterday we talked about everything, and he said that he had a lot of goals to meet before we reach 30. The first and largest stressor right now is finding a new job closer to his parents. He misses his family, and if we move closer to the East Coast, we will be able to be a bigger help to his parents. There is so much more that he wants, too. He wants to buy a house, he wants to be at the top of his career, he wants to be settled and secure with everything we need and want. That leaves five years, and he is worried that he won’t meet his goals.

“How can I help?” I asked, “What can I do to take some of this from your shoulders?” I asked if I should find a way to go back to work, but he said that it was all on him.

I have to ask myself if I am part of the problem. Did I give the impression that I need all those things? Did I put those burdens on him? That makes me sick to my stomach with guilt. I never imagined myself as a materialistic person, but a materialistic person is the exact kind that would add those types of hardships on their loved one.

Maybe there is something to this. But who can blame us for wanting to own our home? Who can blame us for wanting to stop making someone else rich by paying their mortgage plus some? Who can blame us for wanting the same regular goals of most people?

I don’t know how I can help my husband. I am a student, I have a 4 year old still at home, and daycare just isn’t worth the cost. Working on an opposite schedule than him seems like it would only drive a wedge between us. Honestly, I won’t be worth a damn until I can finish with my business degree and start a lucrative business, and that is a big MAYBE. Even then, I will have a boatload of student debt to pay off.

I wish that I could skip 4 years in the future, when my debt is paid and my cafe is open. I want to take those burdens from him. I want to become successful so that he doesn’t feel like it all rides on him. Is this so wrong?

This is where the different sides of me collide in an all out war. Part of me is shallow and wants all of those nice things for us, and the other part of me is absolutely disgusted. I want to be that progressive person that wastes little, wants little, and finds happiness with what they have. I want my children to be appreciative of all they have and realize that they are richer than they know. So, where is the happy medium?

I know that accumulating things will not bring us happiness, but I do think that it might bring us comfort. Without the stress of daily life, without having to worry about bills getting paid and food bought, we may be able to enjoy the little things more.

I am still at a loss for how I can help now. Maybe the answer lies in budgeting like crazy or becoming a coupon fanatic. Maybe having a little more in savings will ease his troubles.

I have to do something, because I feel like I am the root of the problem. Though I rarely spend money on myself, there are always things that I want for the family. I have become materialistic, and it adds to the burdens he carries. I don’t want to be that person, I don’t want to be that wife.

(Luis Quiles)

Adulthood feels like an obsession with money. Need it for everything in American life. Don’t have enough of it. Need to get more of it.

How do I help carry his burdens without becoming a slave to money?

the struggle.

Sometimes, there are days when the universe tilts in your favor. Days when everything is affirmed for you. Days when it is proven that you are doing something right.

Today was one of those days.

Today came at a perfect time, too, considering an argument that arose earlier this week on Facebook.

A few days ago, my oldest sister wrote a post on her Facebook page asking how to handle someone who argued that White people should be stolen from and attacked because their ancestors enslaved Blacks.

After pounding my head a few times at the ignorance and audacity of some people, I felt the need to speak my mind. There was a lot that was said, but I basically maintained that a “thug” mentality would only perpetuate stereotypes, which would then make it worse for her children who are mixed. I also mentioned that every race has been enslaved at some point throughout history, that it is an evil and vile part of our history, but that using it as an excuse to justify criminal acts negates the work of civil rights leaders completely.

There was much more to the conversation, and eventually someone decided to personally attack my right to argue the point (multiple someones, actually).

One person in particular took a look at my profile picture and reviewed my comments before he decided that we were on different planets.

I was the person holding him back.

I was the person who watched while he and his people struggled.

I was the person to waste my money while people like him need help.

I was the one who only knew good things in life.

In this man’s mind, I was automatically the enemy.

That’s fine. Taking a look at my picture, I can see why he’d think that. I was smiling with curled and braided hair. My Facebook had some inspirational posts on it. My words were educated and proper. Who could blame him for believing a stereotype? But he was friends with my sister and didn’t realize that we are related.

He said that he would steal from any race and hated the world. My response was that his attitude wouldn’t get him anywhere. Apparently, this was secret code for “I hate Black men” (I do not, by the way). I argued that hard work brings you good things in life, and that a crappy attitude will only bring on bad karma.

This response did not appease him.

Now, there are a lot of things that I will just allow be said. There are a lot of things that I just brush away. However, I will not ever let someone give credit for everything I have in my life to anyone other than my husband and I. We have pulled ourselves up by our teeth from poverty. We have sacrificed time and again, made the hard choices, and went without. And this is something that we have both done our entire lives because our families were poor, too.

So when my sister responded to him and properly notified him of our hard upbringing and our incredibly strong single mother, he took back his words. He said that we were like him. He shared a picture of a forearm tattoo that read “struggle”. He even tried to ‘friend’ me on Facebook. I never answered it, but not because I begrudge him. I really just don’t like having strangers on my feed.

The entire situation really humbled me, though. It made me realize how far we have come.

We started out at 17 years old, with a baby on the way, living with family, and working minimum wage jobs. We lived on welfare. We sacrificed continuously. We were stolen from. We hit rock bottom. We climbed back up. Most importantly, we did not settle for ‘barely making it’.

Everything we have, really, is because of Will’s killer ambition. The man has a vision for how he wants his life to be, and he does not sway.

And today, well today we were pre-approved to get a new vehicle. We were offered a new credit card. We were given options.

Driving home, we discussed how much extra money we had to finish Christmas shopping. We were both a little giddy over the fact that there is extra money at all.

These things probably seem so simple. They are mundane and normal, which is something that I do not usually subscribe to.

They are also signs that we are doing something right. They are signs that working our asses off is paying off.

And that, well that is a beautiful thing.

i dreamed a dream

Last night I had a dream that I was dying. I had a brain tumor, it was my final day, and I had no one. Those closest to me had more important things to do, and could not be with me.

I was so angry.

I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t want to die. Most of all, I didn’t feel like I was finished. There were so many things that I had decided I still needed to do.

I woke up with a deep ache of loneliness that is hard to describe. I immediately wanted to take action, but it was barely after 3 in the morning. How could I make my life worthwhile with my family still deep asleep?

It is not often that I consider my future in a serious way. Honestly, I have never been able to picture my future at all. For as long as I can remember, there has been a block in my mind that did not allow me to imagine myself in any sort of positive situation years from now. I can daydream, of course, but beyond a few years, it all goes blank for me.

This has been true in all things except with my writing and the cafe/used book store that I will open. Writing is something so innate to me; it’s a craving that I have. I am constantly thinking about story lines and characters, but it can be extremely difficult to get them all down and written. Most of the time, they just stay stuck in the recesses of my mind.

The cafe is different, though. I am pushing myself to get through earning my business degree because it will hopefully give me a boot up with acquiring business loans. The atmosphere, the selling points, every detail is figured out for me. I have never wanted something so badly.

It was the idea of my ideas going unrealized that made the dream so awful. I felt like my potential was being thrown away, and that alone tortured me.

As I grow older, I am realizing more and more that my biggest fear is to live a mediocre life. To live in a monotonous manner where I repeat the daily tasks of everyone else. I want for so much more, not only for me, but for my kids and husband as well. Am I alone in this? The problem is that the only way that I know to live wonderfully, the only way that my family can be successful and free at the same time is to work up to it. We have to live in monotony now, we have to live the repetitive and boring days now.

Pulling through being normal and regular and just like everyone else is hard, especially for someone like me who swims against the current and refuses to stay up to date with trends. It feels too much like shoving a square peg in a round hole; there are parts of me that just cannot assimilate.

Maybe I am naive in thinking that I am somehow different. Maybe everyone craves for individuality and a lasting mark like I do. Still, there is so much ahead of me, but I always feel like I’m running out of time. I have this internal feeling of doom. I cannot get past it, and I feel like I need to rush through this school part to get to my reward. It feels so close that I can taste it, but I am still years away….

not a feminist

I realized today just how “Debbie-downer” my blog posts have been thus far, and so, I am here now to correct that with a few laughs (hopefully) and something I find exciting.

I am not, in any way, a feminist. In fact, I would probably be considered a bad woman overall by those who are feminists.

-I don’t think women should be on the front lines of war with men. I think that it makes better sense to segregate military tactical teams by sex. It honestly just makes more sense to me because it seems like it would simplify things as a whole.
-I read cheesy, popular romance smut on a regular basis. I love a good story where a woman gets dominated and controlled, almost to the point where you question the ethics of the characters.
-When I’m driving, I frequently rationalize bad drivers with this phrase: “No wonder they can’t drive, it’s a fucking woman! I should’ve fucking known!” (My road rage is not lost on me, by the way).
-I am adamant that a woman cannot make as much money as a man without either going through a shit ton of schooling or showing some lady-bits.
-There are some jobs that I am pretty sure most women cannot do, myself included. For example, my husband has worked as an oil rig worker and is now a Lineman. There is no way in hell that I would ever be caught doing those jobs, and definitely not to the same standard that he does. I’m a wimp, I can admit that.
-I am part of a secret club on facebook full of bitches, and the things said on there really exemplify my point (although it is a secret club, so I can’t really share details, I’d have to kill you).
-I think that there are a lot of women who enjoy that whole “being viewed as an object” thing. I mean, not all strippers have to be doing what they are doing just because they have daddy issues… right??
-The last reason I’m an awful, horrible feminist is that I am completely cool with being the housewife. It’s traditional and looked down on by so many people, but hey, daycare is fucking expensive and my husband makes more money than I will be able to for a loooong while. i am also not willing to sacrifice time with him and the kids to work a different shift.

I like that^, don’t you?

Anyways, so we’ve established that I am awful woman.

This all aside, I am super excited about a few things I’ve noticed in television lately. There has been a lot of shows coming out that have strong female characters. This is totally a feminist thing for me to notice, but it excites me because I consider how these kind of shows and characters will affect my daughter (and my son’s views of women) in a positive way.

Take this clip for example (fan-edited, so ignore how they screwed it up). On ABC’s Scandal, Olivia lets all of her stress and worries go to dance to some Stevie Wonder. She tells Jake that she wants both him and Fitz. In this scene, she is sexy and powerful. She is strong and will not be subjected to the stereotypes that is set for women who embraces their sexuality.

During this scene, I felt like yelling out “Hell yea!”. But, of course, then she was kidnapped and they completely ruined it for me.

Still, though, I felt like that was a powerful moment in TV that so many people failed to see.

Another show that presents strong female role models is CW’s Reign. If you haven’t watched it yet, do so now. RIGHT NOW. Binge the first season on Netflix! It’s a period piece, which I usually hate, but they have done it in a way that is amazing. Love the cast, love the story line, love the dresses (oooh the dresses!) and I love the fact that the women secretly hold all of the power. The women in the show use what they have, make tough decisions, and outsmart their enemies while keeping up the royal appearances. It’s worth the watch, and worth the commercials when you have to head over to Hulu for season 2 (some episodes are also on YouTube).

Anyways, I’m gushing. I’m sorry. It is just that I love the way some producers and writers are now portraying women. Game of Thrones, State of Affairs, the list goes on and on. The lesson: it’s a great time for women on TV.

Okay, so maybe I am a little bit of a feminist. Reading over this, I get that. But typically, I dislike any group that sets itself apart from others based on its characteristics, especially when they do this in pursuit of social or political power. NAACP? Nope. White supremacists? Definitely not. The rich and elite? Hell no. Scientologists? Never in a million effing years.

I was called naive in my Cultural Diversity course for maintaining that labeling ourselves and focusing on our differences is not embracing who we are. No, it is a means of divide that causes unrest.

So, maybe I’m a bad feminist. But I am a pretty decent humanist. I believe in equality and interconnection throughout all of humanity. I believe in empowering people who have been oppressed without isolating them from the rest of humanity. Maybe you think that is impossible, but I think it is the only way that we will find peace.