personal stories

One last look.

“I hope you find what you’re looking for.”, she said. As I slowly walked away from her desk. Life is all about last looks, this one was no exception.

I imagined myself doing different things with my life. Going on different adventures, then what was happening before me. I never imagined coming back home. I never thought that failing was an option. As I always do, I picked myself up and started over. Starting over by going home until I come back to this fucking city.  I am going home to regroup then come back to this town to be somebody. Anybody then the person I was before. Not the broken person I was when I came here.

Big cities don’t take to kindly to lonely hearts. Broken people don’t always find what they are looking for. But I will be the exception. The exception to the rule.

I walked away from her office and watched the room glitter with the sunlight. The same golden color. The same sparkle from the afternoon sun. What I would give to be outside  but instead, I am saying goodbye to everything that was familiar.

Life doesn’t prepare you for goodbyes. Life doesn’t prepare you for last looks and the words that haunt you after. Instead, you move forward and hope for the best. Praying, wishing, hoping, that all of this will be a distant memory. Just another story to add in the book of life.

It’s been six years since I have been back. Six years and I still feel like like a visitor in my hometown. This doesn’t feel like home but neither did that big city. Which is why I felt the need to burn my bridges and watch them crumble behind me.

Yet, those words haunt me.

“I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

As I make another last look through the glistening rays of the sun behind me.

One day I will. Someday soon.

Advertisements

Your English.

WOW. Your English is very good.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that sentence. I would probably be out of debt by now.

I try my best to bite my tongue. Because no one wants to hear what I have to say, let alone care to hear where I come from. If they only knew how many times that happens. How people often talk to you in Spanish because they hear the thick accents of your parents. How people assume you don’t know a lick of English. How people assume that you were born in Mexico and ask you questions about where you are from.

My Mom would tell me how ladies would look at her and ask what part of Mexico my brother and I were from. When she would reply, “They were born here”, they more then often would repeat the question. They would ignore her. Because her accent gave her away. You’re not from here and neither are your kids.

Growing up people always asked how I spoke English so fluently. Because the minute they saw my name on paper, they went straight to my last name. Didn’t matter that my paperwork was in front of them.  All they saw was my last name before they saw me. I remember how my childhood friends parents would talk. Talk as if I wasn’t in front of them. I was always “that little Mexican girl”. How it was amazing how the little Mexican girl can enunciate her English words. Just as fluently as the Spanish words come out.

How do you speak without an accent?
Is your first language English or Spanish?
Why is your English so good?

I wish people would stop talking. Or when they try to be funny and talk in Spanish to me. As if my language is a party trick for their amusement.  After they had second guessed my English.

It doesn’t matter what I say. It’s not what they want to hear. They want to hear my accent. They want to hear me mess up my words and be there to correct me. They want to prove a point that no matter how many times I say I was born in the States, they want to tell me I am from Mexico. They want to hear me get angry in Spanish. They want the Mexican to come out of me.

One day, people are not going to like what I have to say.
One day the taste of blood in my mouth will not hold back my tongue.
One day  I am going to say “Funny, how English is my Second Language and I speak it better than you do.”

But I won’t dare. That’s what people want from me. Instead, I bite my tongue. Allow my mouth to overflow with the blood of my tongue. The blood that keeps me together. The blood that keeps me sane. I have learned that at this point, it’s not worth a fight. It’s just best to let this all go.

My English is good because I was born in the states.
My English is good because I was born in the states.
My english is good because I was born in the states..

Am I making myself clear yet?

 

“Baby, I’m going on an airplane..”

.”..and I don’t know if I’ll be back again.”

It’s 12:17 am.

My flight leaves in the next 6 hours. It takes me an hour to get to the airport (traffic permitting). About the same to get through check-in, security, and head towards the gate.

My Mom always asks about weight limit for luggage. Seeing if I can squeeze another two pounds in my suitcase.

Una sueter para tu Tia. A sweater for your Aunt.
Una falda para tu Abuelita. A skirt for your Grandma.

A new toy for someone that just had a baby in the family. Don’t forget that each pile is for each family. She continues. I am lucky enough to fit an extra pair of shoes in my suitcase. She does this every time. If I am allowed to take three pieces of luggage, I’d take them full to the max, with a carry-on packed tight and personal bag. But all just two pounds below the weight limit. With all the restrictions there is to fly and each airline charging for luggage, I make it always two pounds below the weight limit. 1 suitcase per ticketed passenger and a small bag for carry-on.

All packed tightly.

Going to the mother country takes months of preparation. Figuring out dates, budgeting costs, meanwhile securing the best deal possible. Of course flights based on luggage allowances doesn’t hurt either. An extra cushion to bring something for someone you love. If the months prior of shopping for each family member hasn’t prepared us, its the extended family members as well. She does this without even flinching. If she had her last dollar on her and found something that reminded her of someone; she would buy it.

That’s my Mom. Always thinking of others.

Then you have the special requests. Various family members asking for items that are too expensive in their country but cheaper and easy to come by at home. Never giving you notice. Always when your bag is packed and you’re ready to go; that your whatsapp sends you an alert.

Hola, te puedo pedir un favor? Hello, can I ask you a favor?

Sometimes I want to throw my phone out the window. Why do you wait until 3 days before I leave?  When you’ve known for months I was coming. But still, I always oblige. It’s what my Mom does. It’s what I have always been taught.

I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve been to Ross, Marshall’s, Target affiliate stores to prepare for this trip. Or the countless times we’ve been to the Segunda. Not including the countess times I’ve complained, begged, pleaded with my Mom to stop buying things. Nobody needs anything. They have more than enough. Remembering a Prima that just came back from the states and went on a fancy shopping excursion. Or mentioned about a family member that always cried about being broke, yet has money to vacation everywhere. I am always told to be quiet malagradecida, ungrateful.

It’s 12:37 am.

I’ve watched as she unpacks then repacks everything. Remembering a hidden shopping bag of items she had bought for my Abuelita. She’s had this suitcase packed the minute after I purchased my ticket. Confirming that it wasn’t as much stuff as last time. Tu Tia a ayudado mucho (Your Aunt has helped a lot), reassuring that every item had it’s reasons.

I am lucky if I could fit my own stuff in the suitcase. A pair of shoes, a book, something.

If it were up to me, I wouldn’t pack anything. Puros malagradecidos. No one ever says “Thank You” anymore. It’s as if they expect something every time the plane lands. Especially after the last time. Where everyone pointed a finger at my Mom, that she was the dramatic one. Too sensitive, too passionate, always wanting everything in her way. She’s been away for so long, she doesn’t understand how we do things here.

I remember thinking. You try living miles away from your mother. Not in another state where you’re just a bus or plane ride away. In another country, where you have to adapt to a new language and completely new customs. After the last time, I wondered what they think. Do we seem better off because we live in such a glamorous country? Because honestly, I don’t feel better off. Traveling back and forth isn’t easy with just a swipe of a credit card. Including when you have no money, including when you haven’t worked in a few months. But the glitz and glamour of gringolandia makes people believe otherwise.

I sit starting at the suitcase wondering if she remembers what I do. If that even matters to her. I harbor grudges. I become angry. If they only knew the things we have suffered here with no sense of family. If they only knew the things we have been through being miles away from people we could trust. But I am the ungrateful one? Malagradecida. I wish I could put everything back. Return everything. Get my Mom something she really deserves. Because she of all people deserves a suitcase full of everything she loves. Not them.

I remind my Mom about the many times our family members come to the states, without thinking twice about coming to visit. Using the pretext of shopping in bigger states, going to awesome theme parks, and how it’s just not easy for them to travel like its easy for us too.

How easy going to Vegas must be then the extra miles it would be to fly out to SFO. How silly of me an American to understand spending money in the most expensive country in the world.

My mom thinks of everyone. Even after they have yelled at her. After they have talked behind her back. After she spends a few days in silence after some new bullshit arises.

Remember this bag is for your Prima.
Don’t forget to tell your Abueilta, this sweater is for when she goes it temple..

I wish I had my mothers heart. Able to forgive people as easily as they have hurt you.

It’s 12:55 am.

I go over my flight itinerary, who’s going to pick me up, who I will hug first and what I am going to say when I see my family.

I know she’d rather go in my place. That I am in no position to be going anywhere with my current financial state. I should be home instead of boarding a plane and enjoying every moment being somewhere else.

I sit with anxiety and wonder what awaits me. Will I still be angry? Will I learn to forgive?

When I wake up I’ll forget everything. I will board the plane, sit in my assigned seat and watch the plane take off into the clouds toward Benito Juarez International. I’ll sit and fidget the 4 hours it takes to get there; wondering why I make this trip at all. I think about going back. Taking the trip back home and sitting in my miserable state.

It’s at that moment I wish my Mom came on this trip with me. How she would be sitting by the window, making her plan for the whole week. Going over ever last detail of the contents of the suitcase and how happy it will make everyone to see what they will receive. I think about how happy it makes her to see the people she cares about happy. How happy she was for me the minute I purchased my ticket; knowing I will be spending time with my Abuelita. It’s at that moment, I do feel like a malagradecida (ungrateful).

I shouldn’t be here. I need to stop being angry. I need to get over this feeling, just as my Mom does the moment she comes back home to the states. Because out of all the people in the world, she deserves to be going on this trip. She deserves to spend time with her Mami, my Abuelita. Not an ungrateful person that holds grudges such as myself.

I know the moment I land in Mexico, it will all be different. My attitude will change and my anxiety will lift away. The moment I see my Abuelita, every feeling I had will disappear. She deserves to be here where I stand, not me. But I promise to be grateful on this trip, just like she would want.

But I can’t help but wish she was here. Because she deserves to be here more than anyone. Not me.

 

 

Weird.

I have spent a great deal of my childhood being called weird. To the point that the word always seemed like an insult to me. I was different, I was strange, I wasn’t what people expected, but most of all I was weird. Weird has always been one of those words, that hits me to the core. Maybe, because I had been associated with it for so long that I have grown to hate it.  I wasn’t normal, I was weird. I didn’t like what you liked, therefore I was different. Everyone wants to be accepted and anyone that challenges that is wrong. People can be as cruel as school children can be.

I obsess over every little thing. I love spoken word and written dialogue. I write lyrics to songs I love all over my arms. If I hear something that hits me like a ton of bricks, I write it down, everything. If it makes me sad, if it breaks my heart, everything. If I could tattoo words all over my body, I would. I get excited over a piece of music or hearing an album, that reminds me of a time in my life that people wouldn’t understand. I love things that people don’t understand. I love people that people would never understand. Those are just my quirks that make up my whole existence. I am not gonna sit and lie to you. I am not going to pretend to love something because you love it too. I will not act a certain way just to relate to someone else.  I don’t like the same music as everyone else did or I cared too passionately about something that everyone else disregarded. I cared about background characters, written word and imagery as opposed to what was the hottest and latest in the game. I stick out like a sore thumb. Getting overly excited for the boring and mundane, where everyone else loved the glittery and flashy. I become uncomfortable with the attention. I become obsessed with simple conversations and deep thoughts then I do with moving in a hundred different ways. Because that’s real to me. What other people forget is what I hold dear to me. But that makes me weird?

Instead I find ways to understand my madness. I will not hide my pain or push aside my sadness. I will not make excuses for who I am because its not what you want to see. I love people just as they are in their flawed missed up imperfections. But people have a funny way of trying to change you. Trying to make you into something and someone you are not. What they don’t understand is what makes you weird, sets you free. What sets you apart makes you a stronger person in the end. I have allowed people to call me a variety of different names and sounds. I have allowed them to. Because I was never good enough. I was too weak to understand that what sets you apart, sets you free. When all the fingers point at you, you start to believe them. When you’re different everyone expects you to be just like they are. Insecure and afraid of who they really are. But you’re the different one, you’re the weird one. The one that stood against the grain. I am not who you want me to be. I never will be. I won’t cry or obsess about it. I will not bend and break because of it. I will not change myself to fit any of the moods people want me to be.

What’s weird to you, isn’t weird to me. What’s weird to you, will always make me weird. I am not ashamed to be who I am, why are you ashamed of you?

 

 

 

 

Summer.

Attachment-1

I hate Summer.

I hate it with every fiber of my being. For all the reasons everyone loves summer, it’s all the reasons I despise it. I hate the heat. I hate the sun, I hate it’s warmth that embraces me in it’s brightest hug. I hate the over exposure of the sun that lasts on my skin. Turning every inch of my skin different colors that burn to the touch.

I hate it.

This over exposure of skin that showcases all my imperfections. The sun doesn’t allow me to cover up my insecurities and flaws. Instead my skin is out for everyone to see and judge. I can’t stand that feeling. This feeling that with every bright ray of sunlight, I have to hide an inch of myself. I want to cover every inch of myself in layers, hide every inch of my insecurities, but I can’t. Instead I hide behind closed doors until the heat of the afternoon rays, turn into moonlit skies and breezy nights.

I want to hide every inch of myself until I am ready to appear. Hide from the masses until I am perfectly okay with myself. I hate that you can’t hide from warmth. You can’t hide from the sun that follows you like a shadow every step you take. Every freckle burns on my skin from these memories of the past I just want to forget. Closing the books on summer looks and yearn for the layers and falling leaves of fall. Let me have one more day of Spring. One more day of overcast skies and foggy mornings. One more day of layers that hide my skin from the sun. One more day to hide these scars from the world, another day of long sleeves that keep all my wounds secret.

I am the worst person to myself when the sun comes out. All I want to do is disappear until the sun goes down. Do we ever really forgive ourselves for the things we say as the sun illuminates our face? We don’t. I can’t help but become the monster everyone says I am. Its the monsters in ourselves that we are often afraid of. What’s one more?

Summer comes. Summer goes. I can’t wait for the heat to leave this town and leave this lingering feeling it leaves upon my skin. In the shade, behind a veil of layers I will stay. Watching the leaves dry and fall from the trees until there is nothing left to shed.

6/7/2006

Chasing Pavements.

chasing,pavements,life,chasing,pavement,lyrics,sad,photography-1949da1107a052167b82779bd59ebbcb_h_large

Even if it leads nowhere..

My skin has turned raw for the countless times I’ve tried to scratch you out from under my skin. Days become months, and still I can’t stop this way of thinking. Why do things that are not meant to be, still effect us ever so passionately? The more I stop thinking about you, the more you continue to get under my skin. I shouldn’t be thinking and driving myself into this madness. Yet, I can’t help myself.

I find myself at a crossroads, between you and moving forward. When I step forward to leave, you’re pulling me two steps back. It wasn’t my intention to keep this going. There are days I have the strength, and then days I can’t bring myself to continue on. What kind of madness has to succumb to this emotion? I don’t know how it got this far or how it even started. The more I think I have a step forward, I keep falling two steps back. I just want to reach you, but I can’t.

I am tired of running after you, chasing you and ending up empty handed. If I fall to my knees I know it’s over. The moment I beg you to stay, you’ve already won. Then again you’re always winning. I can’t help but want you around. Even when I know you chase after everyone else and I am still struggling to keep up. These are my scars. These are my pitfalls. These are my skinned knees and broken veins; I’ve hurt trying to reach you. I should never have let you get so far under my skin, but comfortably you stay there. I want to cut out every piece of you, that still exists inside of me. That still makes me think of you. That still makes me believe that even through the hurt and the pain, it wasn’t worse than anything else in life.

You have this silly way of keeping me on the edge of my seat. Keeping me waiting and wanting more. Waiting never does any good, I’ve grown tired of chasing you. Grown up from the juvenile wants of yesterday. Slowly my wounds heal and eventually you come out from under my skin that you found shelter upon. Watching you leave is easier than chasing you upon a thousand empty pavements. Watching you leave, I watch the past leave with every step you take forward. For the first time I don’t have to race to catch up to you. From where I stand I watch the past end and leave with you. The roads come to life and don’t feel as empty anymore. No longer feeling the need to lead back to you and your far off destinations.

The intention was never to be caught, it was always to leave and see who follows. I won’t be the fool anymore. Here I stand, here I stay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/13/2015 – Day Twenty – Five.

I have a problem with follow through. I get excited over a variety of different ideas and then because of my own laziness, I become dissatisfied with finishing. I hated school, so I became terrible at it. I hated my peers, so I avoid them every chance I get. I start things with intentions of being creative and watch things fall through the cracks of my life.

There is nothing wrong in having ideas. The sad reality of executing them is where the problems lie.  I always feel like I am on the verge of the next big idea. I write about it, I talk about it, obsessed over it and before long, I grow tired of it. Tired to the point of no return. Its gotten to the point that I don’t think people believe in my ideas anymore. I’ve talked about things, overhyped ideas and before long I just stop talking about it. There’s something inside that always stops me and then I completely stop the whole process. I never finish what I start. I have blogs that have been forgotten. I have books that have been read but never finished. A million things I’ve started and slowly haven’t been finish for what ever emotional reason. I find myself trying to find distractions, instead of finishing what I started.

All these distractions become clutter in my life. Objects, places and things that I just want to get rid of. I watch time go through the hour glass, and know at any moment all of this could be over. I don’t have much time anymore. Everyone around me is finding their place in life, and I am still stuck here with my ideas. I am still stuck trying to figure out what the hell I really want. I made this mistake in thinking that I had all this time. This belief that I would be young forever and eventually everything would fall in to place. No one tells you how hard everything really is once you get older. Maybe I should stop being distracted and start fucking doing something with my life. Maybe instead of keeping all these ideas, I should start doing something about it.

Who knows.

I’ll just wait for the next distraction.

9/6/15 – Day Twenty.

I gave myself a break. Where I didn’t think about anything with the exception of what is in front of me. Something simple. Something sweet, anything to occupy my time away from these thoughts. How do you explain that one day you woke up hating everyone and their existence? That words from everyone close to you, make you shudder and shut down. Or that you can’t explain this need to be alone but you need to be. Why can’t words match what you feel in your heart?

People already think I am crazy, what’s more insanity with a little more misunderstanding. I don’t blame them for thinking that way, they’re only thinking what they can’t understand. I feel so misunderstood lately, that no one really understands me.  Not that it matters. I just don’t feel like painting my face like everyone else, when its not how I feel. I can’t force a smile when those are not the feelings I feel inside. Explaining yourself when you’ve run out of words to say. Its easier to talk about the weather, than say exactly whats wrong.

Half of the time I am not even sure whats wrong, and I am not sure I even want to say how I feel. But today I moved back from those feelings and washed those feelings right out of me. After a few days of living in my filth and not wanting to release these feelings, I am ready to start. Clean, brand new. Find new dreams and polish off the old dreams. Everything else just give it time to regroup itself. Through marathons of old shows and starting over with new shows. I watch what I love and what I fear, keep time with itself. Slowly coming in, side by side. I know I can’t hide from the world. I know I can’t pretend this isn’t happening. What I love and what I fear, will eventually walk side by side. Its then that I’ll admit that this pure fear is knowing that being alone is my burden and my strength. Every day I get closer to overshadowing my fears. I feel myself getting stronger. I feel myself getting better.  But everyone thinks I am crazy. That I have always been the crazy one.

It’s just hard to make someone understand, what they’ll never understand at all.

Mumbles.

I, mumble when I talk, when I think I am speaking loudly. No one can hear me, I repeat myself constantly and it drives me insane.

I, mumble when I talk, when I think everyone is listening. But everyone picks through my words and believes I say the things that I never said.

I, mumble when I talk, when I believe everyone is following along. I make the sounds, say the words, and no one seems to hear me. Can you hear me now? Can you hear the spaces between the words and the syllables that follow?

I, mumble when I talk and I think everyone can hear me.

I, mumble when I talk.
Imumble whenItalk.
ImumblewhenItalk.

But no one is fucking listening.

Better for myself.

Do you ever reach that point in your life where you just want to be alone? Detach yourself from everything and be truly alone. Leave the comforts of dependency and seek comfort in solidarity. Lately, I have realized I can’t do things alone. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s human nature to seek comfort in others. But lately I find myself detaching from everything I believed I enjoyed and trying to find how to do things on my own.

If I have to be really honest, I hate doing things alone. Hate it. This anxiety of going off into the world and doing things by myself frightens me. Which is the reason why I put my dependency on many people. None of it is wrong, its good to be surrounded by good people. Lately, I just need a moment. A moment to myself, to be alone, do things by myself and see what happens. You don’t know who you truly are until you are faced with hours of being alone. For the past couple of months I watched myself depend on the approval of people in many aspects of my life. Whether it be in my personal life or professional life, I needed this stamp of approval from everyone. I don’t know how I got this way. Have I always been this way? This desperation of a person that seeks the approval of everyone? I don’t know what it is, but it frightens me. This need to be someone to prove to everyone else that I can be something.

I don’t have anything to prove to anyone anymore. Even lately I don’t even know what I should be proving to myself. The reality of life is that I am growing up. I don’t want to be so public with everything I do in my life. I don’t want to show everyone what I am doing. I don’t want people to know where I am going. Life isn’t one big “who can do it big and better” competition. Somewhere in the past few years I lost sight of that. When did the little screens in front of us, become more important then human interaction? I hate it. It’s a popularity competition to seek the approval of the people in the screens we see before us. I am just tired of it. Why do I care what people think of me? Why do I care if you like me or you don’t?

Lately, I haven’t felt much like myself. I have felt withdrawn, sad, angry, anxious, all for feeling alone. I never used to be that way. I could spend hours doing things that I loved without the comfort of other people. I find myself getting angry at people I shouldn’t be angry at. I hated being alone because being alone meant finding out who I really was alone. When did I stop liking myself that being alone with myself is a burden? The more that I grow up the more I realize that everyone is on their own hustle. Everyone is growing up and doing things on their own and I feel stuck. You start taking things personally that maybe you’re the problem. Instead of talking to people, I kept things to myself and starting making myself upset. I hate being alone, I hate this person I am when I am alone, why am I this way? I guess in a way you really start to realize who you are when nobody is around. Some days I don’t really like myself as much as I should.

For the next couple of months, I want to be alone. Okay I know I can’t be alone completely for months but I can be alone for moments of months. Alone with my thoughts, alone with my dreams, and alone with my nightmares. I want to miss people. I want to fall in love with people, places, and things again. More importantly I want to prove to myself that I can actually do things alone without the help of others. I want to figure things out, make mistakes, and prove to myself that I can do things alone. I want to worry less about what the tiny screen says back at me and see the faces in front of me. Maybe I have officially gone mad, but sometimes the things that frighten you the most are the things you have to do for yourself. I haven’t done things on my own for a long time, it’s time that I started.

I am disconnecting myself from social media. If you need me, you know where to find me.

Let’s see how this experiment goes.