feeling better

“White” Mexican.

I don’t sing Corridos.
I can’t dance Salsa.
I have brown hair and dark brown eyes, but my skin is pale as snow.
If it wasn’t for my last name, you would think I was like everyone else.

“She’s not like a Mexican, she’s white.”

People have a way of being cruel without intending to. Saying a variety of ignorant things without realizing the sentiments. No one will ever see the words that sting like tattoos on my flesh that no amount of ink could cover over. My pale complexion does not show the color of my blood that flows through this vessel. The blood that roots itself down like the roots of a tree; each root firmly planted in each equally diverse culture. I stand here amazed at the words that make no sense to me. Am I not the product of my ancestry, because of the way I act toward you? Do I insinuate more of one culture than the other? Am I not a true Mexican, because I lack all the stereotypical characteristics you think of? I was not aware that being a product of two different nationalities, I had to prove myself to everyone.

 “She’s more of a white-washed Mexican.”

I listen to Joy Division and stand in the background like a wallflower; bobbing my head to the music.
I sing old latin folk songs, while also singing every motown love song.
I didn’t grow up in a rancho, I grew up in a suburb.

I was born and raised in the United States. I say  “Like”, “dude” and every other juvenile slang word you can think of. The only time I give myself away is talking an octave above everyone else. When I am passionate about something, I become loud and obnoxious, much to the dismay of my peers. When I express myself, I use my hands when I talk, and over exaggerate everything. I am not hiding who I am. I do not have to run with the Mexican flag across my chest to prove that I am Mexican. I was raised in a predominately american environment that has allowed me to be close to my american culture. I am not white-washed, because I do not have an accent when I talk. I am not white-washed because I love american customs just as much as I love mexican customs. I was raised under the belief that I could be who ever I wanted to be. I don’t have to prove my identity to anyone. This isn’t a sick competition of who is better at their culture, because no one will ever win. I am American, I am Mexican, I am both. I am born American with a Mexican ancestry.

But none of that matters to you.

“She’s a coconut; brown on the outside, white on the inside”.

I don’t have an accent when I speak.
I seldom ever wear a color louder than neutrals.
I have tattoos you will never see; none of which are my last name across my back.

I am not a coconut.  I like what I like for my own personal preference. My style is understated because that is my aesthetic. While I talk with my hands, I speak fluently in both languages, and I love chisme/gossip just as much as the next person.

But, no.

Instead you see the outside and will never understand my insides. You think you know my struggles just by looking at my face. But you don’t know. You think that by saying words, they don’t hurt after they have left the tip of your tongue. The words stay with me long after you have gone on to the next subject. How dare you defy my identity, on the basis of not being your stereotypical race. I am not the spokesperson for being of two different ancestries. I am not here to prove to you how much of my nationality that I know. I am a Mexican-American. An american born, mexican-american culturally raised, citizen of the United States. I am not a “White” Mexican, nor a white-washed mexican, or a “white” girl.

I am just me, and the best I will ever be.

 

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10/31/2015 – Day Thirty – Three.

I am just going to straight up say this, I don’t care about my birthday. I don’t. Past experiences have caused me to have such a bitterness about my birthday, that I wish I could skip the day completely. This isn’t some cry for help, not some sort of dramatic situation. Some time between childhood and early adulthood, I just stopped caring. I’ve tried doing elaborate birthday parties, tried doing fancy dinners, but everything didn’t seem right with me. I get really bad anxiety, which caused me to think of every bad scenario that could happen. I’ve had selfish friendships that have caused me to change my plans multiple times to the extent that I cancel everything.

If I had it my way, I would sit in a museum all day staring at art and people watching. I would sit at my favorite restaurant and eat everything I am afraid to eat. Take a solo trip somewhere and not answer to anyone, until the next day.  Whatever the reason, I usually keep my birthday extremely low key. In the past couple of months, I’ve seen my emotions come from the lowest of the low to an extreme high. Its my insecurities on overdrive, its my anxiety, depression, and everything in-between. I don’t know how to explain it to anyone. Birthdays are an excuse for people to pick me apart, when I should really feel they are celebrating the greatness that is me. I can’t help but think what could you celebrate me for? I haven’t done anything right in years. I haven’t been able to keep myself together in months. Why would you? Those are all my insecurities, paranoias, etc. I don’t know where I got the idea to do anything for my birthday, but after years I wanted to do something.

On 10/31/2015, I turned 33. Something inside of me considered it an accomplishment. I wanted to do something. Not something big, just something simple surrounded by people I cared the most about. I didn’t want to go on some extravagant trip. I didn’t want to get all fussed about in some stuffy restaurant. I didn’t want to go to a bar and get completely shit faced (which I have done countless times). I wanted to feel comfortable in a place I sometimes don’t feel comfortable in. I guess to an average person doing a dinner at home, isn’t some big deal. But when you don’t do anything for your birthday, it means the world to someone. Even if that someone happens to be me. I didn’t expect much, just a few of my close friends, in a small intimate setting, eating, drinking and having a good time. I just wanted to celebrate life surrounded by the people I cared about the most. I wanted to do everything myself. I wanted to decorate, plan, have a menu, have drinks, everything. I wanted to prove to myself that my emotions will not get the best of me and that I can do things. I realized that cooking has a very soothing effect on me. That having myself following a task that I set myself, challenges all my insecurities. Of course I wanted people to have fun, to enjoy themselves, but I wanted to make sure I could do things. That I could host a magnitude of people and still feel okay.

I keep myself guarded after years of being let down by prior friendships. I have a hard time admitting to close friends when I am upset or hurt or sad. I don’t let people in, when I should be trusting with people. Most of my friends have never been to my home. I don’t like inviting people over because this doesn’t feel like my house. Because it isn’t, I didn’t earn this home. Something always caught my attention that at a certain age we are suppose to leave and make our own ways. Which has been a huge insecurity of mine. I realized now that, I needed to be home. I needed to heal and grow, and get stronger. I needed to realize my past mistakes were all growing experiences. People may consider it weird that a person my age still lives at home, but I realized I can’t let people dictate how I feel. I came home to get better because living every where was making me sick. I had been sick for a long time and never told anyone. Then life happened. My mom got sick and I choose to stay. Its hard for me to admit its been hard, because it has. Now I am just piecing everything together and can finally start doing things on my own. I am okay, my mom is okay, and soon I will go on my own way. I shouldn’t feel embarrassed by my experiences but sometimes when the wind gets knocked out of you, you can’t help but feel that way.

It has nothing to do with my birthday but then it has everything. We are expected to be a brand new person every year that hits our birthday. Feel grown from the birthday prior. The past few years, I’ve just grown more sick in a downward spiral. 33, is important to me that, I wasn’t going to put up with my own bullshit. I wasn’t going to let my sickness dictate my life, I wasn’t going to let the past come back and haunt me. For me to be honest about this, makes me realize that I know I am going to be okay. Its taken me a long time to realize that I am not just passing through this home, this place is home. Having people I cared about over to my home, meant the world to me. Its silly to say that it meant the absolute world to me. I didn’t expect much, I drove myself crazy days prior to my birthday. Then I realized that the people I see before me are the people that have helped me in more ways then they can imagine. They have loved me unconditionally when I haven’t been the best person to them or myself. I have had people cut me out of their life, I have cut people out of my life, and still standing before me are the people that stayed no matter what. I knew it would take years to work up the courage to ever do this again, but for 6 hours, I truly felt love, light, and every mushy positivity vibe shine through. I realized that I may not be everyone’s favorite person. On average, I could be the worst person. I say things without thinking of the consequences. I haven’t been kind to people who only deserve my kindness. But I am not the same person I was a year ago. I am not the same person I was 3 months ago. Sometimes it takes something to scare you, to help you grow into who you need to be. I am still growing up, whether I want to or not.

Sometimes it’s the things that scare you the most, are the things you have to do for yourself.

10/17/2015 – Day Thirty – Two

I cried when I made french toast today. Cried like the damn world was conspiring against me. Feeling like I had nothing left to give. Buckets upon buckets of stupid tears that meant absolutely nothing. I wish I could fully explain how things like this happen. How a wave of uncertainty can just paralyze your insides and make you feel a variety of different emotions. I have made french toast multiple times in my youth and adult life. Its the one thing I can make that becomes like I am conducting a symphony. Today, I just couldn’t fucking get it together.

I felt off today. Something wasn’t right in my head. I went to bed with anger, woke up feeling hurt and distraught. I hate those days. Days were you can’t seem to pinpoint where the anger comes from anymore. Lately, I just wake up with this feeling of being the worst person in the world. I know I am not a terrible person but some days I wake up thinking I am the absolute worst. This is not me coming in here to ask for sympathy of any sort. Some days I feel like I can’t get it together and other days I can do just about anything I want to. This is where I feel like I am driving myself crazy. Who honestly thinks this about themselves? Who feels like they are the worst person in the world? Because, that’s how I feel all the time. At this point, I am not sure if this is my anxiety or my depression, getting the best of me. When you wake up in a weird funk it clouds over you the whole day. Simple tasks seem harder than usual. I found my hands shaking more and my stomach more upset than normal. I cracked an egg too hard and watched how the fragile tiny pieces of the shell, sat in the egg whites. Later, I put too much cinnamon, too much vanilla, and so on. I didn’t have enough batter on one side of the bread. I burnt the other side of the bread. Simple tasks that made me more anxious than anything. My hands continued to shake, which made my heart beat faster. Before I knew it, the tears started forming and I just started to cry. What I hate the most is when you’re in your own personal bubble everything is a trigger. From the tiny fragments of egg shells in the egg whites, to burning the bread on one side. I felt like the worst person on the planet and I could feel everyone watching me. I hate when people notice and exclaim “If you can’t or don’t want to do the task, I will do it”.

No.

I don’t need someone to clean up my mess. I don’t need anyone to finish my tasks. I don’t need anyone to make me feel worse than I already feel. So I cried. I cried in the batter, I cried in the butter, I cried in the french toast that burnt on one side. All I can manage to think was this probably tastes like garbage but its my garbage that I made. I just want to cry in silence and finish what I started.

8/10/2015 – Day Four.

Do you ever just need a moment alone to deal with all your own emotional bullshit? Shut off the world and see where your mind is at? Lately I feel like that all the time. I just need this moment to myself to shout to the skies and get the fuck over everything. Scream out my pains and dress up my wounds. I just want to lay down on the floor and listen to all my favorite records. Write out all my frustrations and find some kind of peace of mind. Put my mind elsewhere and focused on something other than what I am feeling. It’s hard to do that when you live at home. Its hard to shut off the world and retreat into your hermit crab shell.

I have been living at home for the past 6 years. Which feels like I just moved back home yesterday. I can’t help but wonder where all the time went. This need to get back on my feet and yet I still find myself here 6 years later. I wonder if it’s all fear that keeps me staying here or if I just haven’t mastered the art of being an adult. On my good days I don’t mind being home, but on the bad days I can’t be here anymore. Everything has it’s place and purpose, eventually I’ll have it all figured out. On one of those rare occasions, I get a few moments to be alone. On a super rare out of this world moment, I get a whole day to be home alone. *Cue Kevin McAllister “AHHHHHH” Track*. I’ll be honest, it’s pretty fucking awesome. When you’re having a mental health, “check yo self, before you wreck yourself” day, it’s like you won the emotional lottery. I have been dealing with my own personal demons for the past month and today everything hit me like a ton of bricks. When you think you have cried out all your tears, your face becomes a waterfall of emotions you’d rather not chase (Maybe TLC had a point?).

Its very rare to get the house to myself but when I do, I take advantage of the opportunity. Today was one of those lucky days where I could be alone. Its like my body senses that I have all this open space and I take advantage of the vacancy. I wake up earlier, stretch my bones out, and pretend that all this open space is mine for the taking. Its weird when you’re growing up how much you crave this idea of being home and back to the comfort of it all. Growing up, leaving, and then coming back home, you still search for this idea of home. Its why I can’t stay comfortable in my house, because it’s not my home. It’s not something I earned, its not something I fought for. To be lost in this open space when no one is around is the closest I come to feeling at home. I unplug myself from the world and exist only in my own tragic little world. You feel like you have to answer to everything and everyone, but for this moment you don’t have to say a word. I love that.

When I am home alone I want to sit and watch all my favorite films. I want to brew the biggest cup of coffee and get lost in someone else’s beautifully directed film. Get lost in dialogue and be mesmerized by the cinematography of a film. For the past couple of days, I have had an urge to watch Anton Corbijn’s film “Control”. For anyone that has never seen the film it’s a beautifully directed film from beginning to end about the tragic life of Ian Curtis (lead singer of the band, Joy Division). When I am feeling upset, I think about the black and white imagery and get lost in the music. Its part biography, part music video, all parts visually beautiful. I tend to think about this film, more than I should. You could almost feel the loneliness through the film. Feel the moodiness and distress feeling of sadness throughout the whole film. It makes you want to reach out your hands to the characters and tell them you understand how they are feeling. I get lost in this film. I get lost in the moments, the music, the dialogue, and the characters. It makes you wonder that when you’re feeling depressed if your life comes out beautifully orchestrated. If the colors of your emotions come out vividly in black and white.

I could go on and on about this film. About how this film makes me feel, what emotions it brings out of me. I could say all the key scenes and how the music intertwines with the film. I could go on about certain scenes and how perfectly vivid it comes out on the screen. But doing so only kills the magic. You almost forget how upset you are putting your mind on something else. Focusing all your energy into something you love that brings forth all these feelings. This feeling that in this moment you share something between yourself and the film director, that no one else understands. Its in that moment you don’t care about anything else but that moment. It’s all you could ever ask for in the day. I took advantage of my emptiness and open space. Reached out to the spaces and kept myself together with a good film and equally amazing cup of coffee.

I know I shouldn’t be by myself, that I should be speaking to a million people about how I feel. Some days, I just want to tell the whole world how I feel. Tell everyone every single feeling I harbor inside. I wouldn’t know where to start, I wouldn’t know how to form the words to explain whats is going on in my mind. For a moment I had a break from myself and at this current time, it’s the only thing that matters.

For now.

Just Breathe.

Breathe in, Breathe out.

Just breathe and the moment will pass. Breathe in all the light, exhale all the dark. I am watching everyone see right through me. Looking through my insides and making me feel small. Because small is what makes everyone feel grand and larger than life. I watch the people surround me, turn into giant monsters of their former selves. Piercing my skin that hides my insides. I can’t take it anymore. Pushing the feelings away and save them for another day. Any other day but today. My chest feels heavier than normal. My heart feels more than it should. The more I breathe in, the faster I see myself exhale. It will all be okay, I am going to be okay.

Breathe.

No matter how many times I tell myself this will pass, it just intensifies even more. I feel it in my bones and straight to my soul. In these moments, I want to say everything I feel inside. Tell everyone, I am not the crazy one. I am not crazy, I feel a little out of it, but I am okay. I sit in silence and wait for this all to pass. A wave of emotions just washes over me. This tsunami of emotions that suffocates my breathing. I am afraid and the fear paralyzes me. Afraid of the risk of bursting out every single one of my feelings that I keep bottled up inside myself. Everyone can see right through me. My demeanor is crystal clear and everyone is looking inside of me. Maybe they are right. I should give up all these ghosts and make myself feel fine. Yet the good days turn to bad days and I can’t help but see smoke. I’m burning up on the inside. Everyone sees it. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t keep myself together. I am slowly falling apart with every thought I get. My lungs are closing in and I can’t breathe.

It happens to the best of us. Even people that you’d never expect it to happen to. I’ll smile real big and pretty, if it will make you feel better. I’ll tell you what you want to hear. Because breathing never gets easier. Even I know that.

7/4/2015