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11/1/2015 – Day Thirty – Four.

I am not a cook. I can say that without flinching or getting an anxiety attack. I am not. I can do a variety of things; cooking however is not one of them. A lot of my cooking is based on watching other people cook, learning from the experts as I like to say. I can’t give you a recipe to make salsa, but I can show you. “I can show you”, is a motto that I have been taught on numerous occasions. No one taught me how to cook, I just learned by watching others. I can get by with simple step by step recipes, but I cannot cook for the life of me. Part of it has to do with lack of patience, and other half has to do with pure laziness. Do not ask me for the perfect recipe for the greatest salsa because I do not have one. I don’t have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. I don’t even know how to make pie crust from scratch. I consider a lot of family and friends, the bakers, the chefs, the experts that can cook, etc. They can whip up a pie at a moments notice. They can make a variety of different meals that would put some minute meals to shame. To say that I am a bit jealous, I will admit to it. I would love to be able to make something without a recipe, or just be able to make something from nothing.

For the past couple of years I have grown an interest of knowing more about my culture. Whether it be stories about my family or knowing more about my culture itself. Being of Mexican descent, I want to know everything.  Everything in my culture is a story, with a purpose and place, which I find absolutely fascinating. Cooking is a big part of my culture, especially in my family. Every one in my family cooks; from my Abuelita (grandma) to my Tios (Uncles), Tias (Aunts), and primos (cousins). I am always fascinated by how simple ingredients can be transformed into epic feasts. My Mom has often stated “There is no reason to go hungry. If you have rice, beans, and tortillas, you are set”. She’s right. A lot of our meals have consisted of simple ingredients that make up these amazing meals. Most of the times we do not need a special holiday to make these delicious feasts, but on the day that there is a holiday they become these emotional and elaborate works of art. When I was growing up I always had a fascination with Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). I loved the idea of having a day to celebrate with your ancestors that have passed on. Eating all the things they loved, celebrating life, discussing stories of the past, and my personal favorite eating “Pan de Muerto” (bread of the dead). It sounds a little morbid, “Pan de Muerto”, but I assure you it’s absolutely delicious.

While I love all aspects of pan dulce (sweet bread), Pan de Muerto has a different meaning on this day.  While breaking bread with your family members you would share a piece with your ancestors and continue this celebration of life and death. Pan de muerto would be the center piece that adorned your alter, the bread you would break and share with each family member. We have usually purchased a large pan de muerto (to share) or bought tiny individual ones to place on our alters to consume. This year I wanted to do something different. I have always depended on going to a panaderia (bakery) to purchase bread, but what if I made the bread myself? What if I put together all the ingredients and made it myself? People thought I was crazy. Honestly, I thought I was crazy. I’ve never cooked with yeast. I couldn’t tell you about kneading anything of that matter. Making pan de muerto, when I could very well just go to the local panaderia and buy it? Like are you crazy?!?

Considering that all my baking consisted of following a box recipe, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I mean, I wasn’t expecting perfection. Edible, yes. Perfection, no. I wanted to see if I could honestly pull this off. I can follow basic instructions. I can follow directions. After scouring the internet, I stubbled upon a recipe by Dariela of Mami Talks (www.mamitalks.com). Something about her recipe sounded like I was talking to a relative who was giving me instruction. I have the disadvantage of having a majority of my family members living in Mexico, so asking them for a recipe is harder with translating, language barriers, measurement differences, temperature changes, etc. Or sometimes they’ve never made it themselves, which is why the internet is amazing! After gathering the ingredients in the recipe, I started the grueling process of making the bread. Let me just state, it was not an easy process. Its a process that takes a lot of patience, which I often times do not have. A lot of waiting around for dough to rise, then kneading, letting dough rest, etc.

Whew!

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I give props to every baker I know. Especially the bakers in panaderias. There were times in the process, I would get frustrated. Was all this work, really worth it? Do they not have little canisters of pan de muerto that I can pop in the oven? WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE!?!?! You know all my little dramatics rolled into one bread. When the bread was ready to pop in the oven, I did the sign of the cross and prayed it didn’t burn. I could have taken the easy way out. I could have complained about driving 3 minutes to the local panaderia. I could have picked the perfect pan and went on to do my alter. But I didn’t feel close to my culture that way. If I had done that, I wouldn’t feel the flour in my hands, watch the dough rising from the bowl. All these processes I would have missed by doing what I normally do, depending on someone else to do something for me. I have been so dependent of everyone to save me from myself. Even simple cooking, I would rather have someone else do.

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It may not have been the prettiest pan de muerto, but it sure was yummy. All that anxiety, all that complaining, proved that I could do it. It may not have been a recipe passed down from generation to generation; I may not have perfected the art of pan dulce. After making this recipe, I felt like I could cook anything. More importantly, I didn’t feel dependent of having someone else clean up my mistakes.

I made this and it was delicious!

Shout Out to Dariela of Mami Talks for your amazing recipe of Pan de Muerto. I cannot wait to make this next year and share this with my family.

 

 

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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.

10/2/2015 – Day Thirty.

I have a hard time letting things go. Letting go is hard when its all you have left to hold on too. It’s in my nature to keep everything. Packed away until I am ready to let go. Things I should have thrown away ages ago. Ticket stubs, receipts, letters from people I haven’t talked to in years. Little mementos, relics of the past that seem like absolute clutter and trash to the naked eye, but mean everything to me. I put so much power behind these items that they become characters themselves. Its almost as if these memories manifest themselves into these mementos, that throwing them away throws away those feelings and sentiments.

My life seems so invested in things I felt happened days ago, when in reality its been years. This power I put behind memories, I can’t help but hold on to things hoping to find that magic again. I look at these relics spilled on to the floor, falling out of books/notebooks, and wonder whats missing in my present that can’t help me shake the past. The past wasn’t perfect, I am no where near the person I was back then, and yet I can’t help but be in love with the past. I loved so many things, so many people and as years go by, I watch things fray and fall apart. I find myself romanticizing this nostalgia and everything that came with it.  Seems like only yesterday I was there. Only yesterday my heart was beating faster and I couldn’t shake this feeling in my soul. Even the bad has a beautiful memory, wrapped with a melodramatic soundtrack of my favorite band, and a filter only I could come up with.

Throwing these things away throws away the magic these memories hold. I just want to hold on a little bit longer. I want to hold on to every single word, every single moment, every single memory. Everything. Until I can’t remember a face, a lyric, a name, and a song. Until the band plays it’s last encore and we are left with nothing but the dust of the afterglow. This nostalgia will only break my heart but I can’t help it. I can’t help pretending that everything was once beautiful, even when everything was hurting. I want to be locked in these memories until I have nothing left inside anymore. Holding on to these ticket stubs and holding on to feelings that meant the absolute world to me.

I know this will all disappear. One day I will have to let go of everything that is holding me back. But can I stay here before letters turn to dust and photographs begin to fade. Before we all grow old and completely disappear.

Please?

9/8/2015 – Day Twenty – Two.

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I was suppose to go to a baseball game tonight.

Everything was going to be alright. I printed out my tickets, laid out my clothes and had every intention of going. Anything to get out of the house and keep driving. Anything to clear my thoughts. But I didn’t want too. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. People will say it was because my team has been playing terribly, but I knew better.  When you’re depressed even the things you love become burdens in your life. Going to that game felt like a burden to me. I didn’t have it in me to go and feel stuck. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be alone, I just didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to go through this whole routine, this whole superstition.  I didn’t feel good, I didn’t feel safe, and for the first time, nothing felt right.  I hate admitting that. Admitting I have flaws in all the wrong times for all the wrong reasons. I just couldn’t bring myself to do something I loved, out of fear of my own emotions. I can’t control them anymore.

I drank for the first time in a long time last night. Drank just to keep my nerves from going insane. It’s weird how alcohol makes you feel when you haven’t had a lot of it. Maybe I am crazy. Everything that I once loved is turning into everything I hate, and I can’t understand it. I feel as I am not good to anyone. I have disconnected myself from the world and watching everything happen in fast forward. Alienating myself away from everyone. I don’t want my negativity to rub off on anyone. Therefore I keep everything to myself and just find way to pass time.

Anything, everything and moving on.

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I was suppose to go to a baseball game and prove to myself, I could still do things that I love. Still have this feeling that at any moment I could fall in love all over again. Instead I opened the blinds and watched the sun rise and the sun fall from the sky. Cascading vibrant colors and begging me to go outside. It didn’t seem right to waste the day. Didn’t seem right to feel this way, but I did. I couldn’t help myself but continue to look out the window and watch the seconds turn to minutes and then minutes to hours. I don’t want to be here, but I’m too afraid too leave.

8/12/2015 – Day Six.

I didn’t tell anyone I was traveling. I didn’t make some epic post on social media. I didn’t even give a hint that I was going. I wasn’t up to all of it to be completely honest. If I had to be really honest, I really just wanted to disappear. I didn’t want to die, even if at times I felt that way. I just didn’t feel the need to tell anyone anything. It probably sounds stupid and juvenile but I’ve always been so public about different aspects of myself. Just this once, I didn’t want to say anything.

I haven’t been sleeping well for the past couple of weeks. This wave of paranoia hit me like something out of a nightmare. I’ve travelled thousands of times. Thousands of times alone or with friends. This time felt different, that I was hiding from something I couldn’t contain anymore. I thought I was going to lose it in the check-in line. I thought I was going to lose it in security. I thought I was going to cancel this trip right in the airport. If I had it in me, I would change my ticket and fly to a million different places. Places where no one would find me. I am clouded with this idea that we have to tell people where we are and what we are doing, but I just want to get lost and leave. Disappear completely. Disappear in the sights and sounds of places where only few people would find me. As of this point, I can’t do it anymore. I can’t pretend that this is just something that happens to people. At this point in my life, I don’t know if I can survive these feelings. Its haunting my life to the point that I can’t sleep anymore. I am hurting in places, I don’t want to hurt anymore. I am holding on by a very thin thread and at any given moment I will break.

Airports are always interesting places. I have spent a good amount of time at airports. Coming and going, take off and landings. I always felt it was the most loneliest place you could be. You’re never sure if someone’s journey is just beginning or ending. I become fascinated by strangers, their stories and their lives. I could sit and people watch for hours. I could sit down in the countless chairs by the gates and watch people. People on their phones, gossiping with people, people reading books, everything. You almost want to open your heart to these people and invite them in. See who they are and share a piece of yourself. In many ways thats what drives my madness. This need to share a piece of myself and open my heart to people. I’ve been fearful of people hurting me again, that I didn’t realize I was only hurting myself. I go on all these trips to find myself to scare myself. To prove to myself how much I can do on my own. When it’s the comfort of people I really seek. A smile from a stranger, a “good morning” from a neighbor, a “thank you” from a person sitting next to you.

We are all connected by strings and when we least expect it to we cut our strings to be free from everyone. We don’t realize how desperately we need these strings. How we’d stop the world to restring ourselves to all these people. I want to learn to live without these strings and realize I need these strings as much as I need to be free. I want to disappear and I want strings to pull me back to myself. I don’t know. I found myself in my seat on the plane and as we were descending into my final destination, I realized how much I missed the adventure of life. Everything I’ve done in my life had been completely out of the norm of everyone else’s life. I had been feeling guilty of steering off the path, that I was bringing myself down. I missed adventure, I missed different places, I missed what I loved about life. A lot has changed since my last trip, and I knew that. I watched as the plane slowly circled the city and realized I missed the comfort of home and the comfort of people. I needed to be alone with my darkness to realize how much I don’t need a lot of things. Looking down at the city with it’s buildings and cars and people, I felt so insignificant. Harboring all this pain has made me feel like a stranger to many people, but I felt like a stranger to myself. Before I could enjoy the view, I couldn’t help but start to cry.

I don’t know who I am anymore, and I am not sure I ever will.

8/9/2015 – Day Three.

Emotions have a way of turning you upside down and inside out. For the past few days, I’ve felt what emotions can do to you physically and emotionally. Personally, I can’t take it anymore. This push/pull feeling of being okay and then later being in pain. I started realizing that my days seemed numbered. That I was struggling to feel anything aside from this numbing pain of being hurt. Which is crazy, I shouldn’t be feeling this pain. I had nothing to provoke this pain and yet this heartbreaking feeling manages to wash over me.

There’s always this feeling of emptiness that harbors inside. That no matter how much I could possible eat or how much I drink, I just can’t get that satisfying feeling of being full. Of course emptiness is a feeling that can transcend different emotions, but hunger was a pain I couldn’t get rid of. I always find myself feeling hungry when I am upset. After the way I was feeling the day before, hunger felt like the only emotion I could control. Somewhere between the dismantling of my closet and the rearrangement, I decided I should treat myself to something to eat. Lately the problem with eating is my limited options and new found eating habits to consider. Usually when I am upset I gravitate toward the greasiest, saltiest, gluttonous food, but after a illness scare, I have been fairly strict with my eating habits. To say that it doesn’t frustrate me, would be lying. It does frustrate me, severely. Just the thought that I can’t be happy with what I eat, even knowing that my past habits are not healthy for me. I am so used to eating the way that I want and to take me away from that is completely foreign to me. However, there are cheat days and when I am not feeling 100%, I give into my old eating ways. I can’t be strict all the time, ya know?

I have eaten millions of meals with people. Meals with fascinating, amazing people. All of my friends, family, friends of friends, etc. Interesting characters all unique in their own individual way. I have how ever never eaten a meal alone. I have eaten at home dozens of times, eaten in my car more times than I can count. But to sit in a restaurant by myself, I’ve never done. It’s that paranoia that people are watching me, judging me. Which is why eating alone is always close to impossible. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s that feeling of really feeling alone. I could order a meal, pick it up, and eat it at home, I mean I could. But even being at home, I don’t feel alone. I just wanted a moment to collect my thoughts, write them down, and be completely and utterly alone. Maybe I could make sense of how I was feeling and put it down on paper. I didn’t want to go to a place that was completely crowded, I also didn’t want to go to a place that was completely empty, so the logical choice was Denny’s. Mainly that it has a load of options and even on the worst possible days, even they can’t mess up my food.

Denny’s has been the center point to many instances in my life. It sometimes gets to the point that I crave Denny’s. There isn’t a memory that doesn’t incorporate Denny’s in it. I know a good fair share of people that don’t care for Denny’s, I personally seek happiness in Denny’s. It’s comfort food. I know what to order and I know it’s always going to be good (I do not work for Denny’s, so this is pretty much coming from the goodness of my heart). I honestly hadn’t been to a Denny’s in over a year or maybe even more. There’s something about going somewhere that you seek comfort in that calms you. Today of all days, I just wanted to pack my bag full of notebooks, drive, and eat some Denny’s. Normally I would call any one of my family members or friends, but today I just didn’t feel like entertaining. I didn’t feel like telling stories, telling jokes, over exaggerating situations, I just wanted to be alone. By myself with my thoughts, feelings, and sadness, and eat food that I know is bad for me.

It’s no secret that I have been avoiding social media. After deleting all my social platforms off my phone, I have been out of touch with the world. I just don’t care anymore, I truly don’t. After having a meltdown on twitter about a month ago, I just didn’t feel up to putting my emotions on social media. I also realized what a distraction social media was, to the point of obsession. I was checking countless social media outlets several times a day that it was interfering with my life. I shouldn’t care what people say but sometimes people say the tiniest thing and it makes you paranoid about your own life. Makes you feel guilty about what you say or do. My only way to combat my fears was to take away what was causing my paranoia and anxiety. After taking that away, I started to see life differently. It always takes me a while to get myself together to do things by myself and today was no different. I realized how much of a crutch I used social media for, just something to occupy my time and calm my nerves. Something to fidget with before I got up the nerve to start. I sat in my car for a few minutes, maybe I could still invite someone to go with me. I still had time to change my mind. Maybe all I really needed was to just sit and talk to someone. The minutes seemed to pass and before I knew it I was out of the car and headed toward the entrance.

You begin to realize how much more aware you are of your surroundings, when you don’t have your phone glued to your hands. More aware of people, sounds, and conversations. More aware of your own personal being, thoughts, and even your own shadows. You observe more, you wait to see if people see you, the way you are seeing them. I am used to shielding myself with technology that I often forget whats in front of me. Sometimes there are things that you don’t see within the camera lens. Things you forget that are staring back at you in the background. I wish I could photograph and record everything, but it doesn’t give you that same feeling. It doesn’t give you the music you hear, the chill in your spine, and that spring in your step. I miss hearing life in between “Like” and “Reblog”. I found myself hiding behind my own insecurities. I didn’t realize how much I missed the sounds of life. Even Denny’s bred a life form of silverware chattering, people bickering, plates slamming, hustling. Everyone I could see sitting in booths and chairs may have been surrounded by people, even if I was alone I didn’t feel alone. I didn’t feel my heart race with fear or anxiety. I didn’t feel people judging me and pointing fingers at my flaws. For the first time in days I felt okay. I felt safe. It’s a feeling I wouldn’t have felt had I been with someone else. It was something I had to learn being on my own in a chain restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

When your heart is hurting you don’t feel like anyone sees you. You could be right in front of someone but you’ll feel they see right through you. Maybe no one really sees you for who you are but today I saw myself. Scared, vulnerable, alone and for the first time in a long time I was okay with that.

8/8/2015 – Day Two.

I had every intention of being productive. I find myself saying that a lot. Every intention of starting and finishing something in the day. Every intention of getting up early, going to the gym, getting coffee, starting a million little ideas and finding ways of finishing them. That was my intention but like all great ideas, some of them just stay ideas without the follow through. You have these ideas of expectations of how your life is suppose to react, then life gets mixed up with reality. I wasn’t feeling really well and by the time I started feeling better it was already 11 am. Which of course I could have just started my day later but the momentum of starting just became the biggest killjoy.

Somewhere between when the morning and afternoon came together, I decided that since everything got off at an awkward start that I would clean my closet. I’ll be honest (this honestly thing becomes a recurring theme in my life), I have let a lot of things fall through the cracks. My room has sat in the same position for the past 2 years and my closet is just as pathetically disgusting. I don’t understand it. I am a fairly neat person, I hate when my room is filled with clutter and chaos. By the time I come home, I just don’t want to be bothered by anything. I see books clutter open spaces, I see clothes overlap chairs, I see stacks of papers and unopened envelopes collect dust on every desk and table as far as I can see. My closet is no exception. I get an idea in my head of how my closet should be, and a few months of this feng shui works fine and then the rest of the year its utter chaos. I am a packrat when it comes to clothes. While everyone else hoards memories with material objects, I have a hard time letting clothes go. Sure I’ve sold a few new items on social platforms, I’ve given clothes away to family members or friends, but even through that cleansing I still have a lot to go through. In a way I could get rid of every last item in my room but my clothes are the hardest to let go. In a way my closet is like my Toy Story and every article of clothing has a living breathing purpose and pulse. Every piece tells a story better than any photograph could.

Even with all these stories and adventures, I just can’t seem to find a purpose in this closet. It feels like everything is falling apart in this closet, even though no one else can see it but me. I purchased a garment rack over a year ago and due to the weight of clothes, it was slowly falling apart (literally falling apart). Clothes were spilling out from every side of my closet and slowly were spilling out into my room. They say your home is a representation of yourself and at this point, my room was telling me my life is a mess. I don’t have an organized process to clean my closet. I usually just start throwing things onto my bed and then go from there. I started moving everything from the back of the closet to into the front and realized how many things where hidden in the chaos. You start going through your nostalgic reasons for having things and then you realize how silly that makes you seem. On top of an almost tragically broken garment rack, I found an old collage of a band that I used to love hidden behind all the clothes and shoes. This collage that once served a purpose in my life was now just a distant memory hidden in my closet for no one to see. I guess in a way I felt bad that I wasn’t taking care of my stuff, let alone my own life. I watched how things I had long since forgotten, just happened to be found within the chaos of my closet.

I guess you can say it started with the garment rack and ended with the dresses. It was like something hit me hard in my chest and worked its way to every single one of my feelings. I became frustrated fixing the garment rack that once it was fixed, I just wanted to rip everything off the hangers. Of course I can’t go into anything in my life lightly. I have to go into dramatics, throw my hands up in the air, scream a variety of colorful words, and have a complete meltdown. This didn’t feel like a normal meltdown. This felt like a million different fingers pointed back at me, for a variety of different reasons. I can’t let go of the past and being in this closet assured me of that. I felt the weight of a hundred dresses and their stories pointed back at me for everything I had done or was doing. Somewhere between the garment rack and the dresses, I hid myself in my bathroom and cried. I can’t keep it together anymore, I can’t even pretend to know what I am doing with my life anymore. The longer I hide things deep in my closet, the sooner its going to spill out into my life and mess up my present. I wish I could say I knew this was going to happen, that I could pinpoint the exact moment that everything started feeling like it was falling apart but I can’t. I can’t because honestly I don’t know. I keep so much of life inside that when I can’t anymore, anything and everything becomes a trigger. Even a tiny garment rack and a closet full of dresses.

I didn’t stop crying once I left the bathroom. I didn’t stop crying when I fixed the garment rack and I didn’t stop crying once I sat on an empty space in the closet hugging all my dresses. Maybe, I am truly crazy. Maybe, I shouldn’t be here. Maybe, everything I am doing in this life is wrong. I wanted to disappear and run away. Run away from everything that was sitting in front of me. This hurricane of clothes that overtook every inch of my closet. This hurricane of memories and nostalgia that can’t help but continue to keep me down. I wanted to go hide in the dark and return to my self destructive nature. Cut up every single one of my old scars and burn every last one of the feelings I had inside of me. I wanted too. Anything that would take away these feelings. But I didn’t do any of those things. Not any of those things. Instead I sat with my legs crossed and picked up every dress from the floor and removed the hanger. All hangers in one place. All dresses in another. The past has a funny way of hurting even after everything has been said and done. On the days you’re hurting the pain of ghosts seep right through you. I have never been immune to that. I placed the pile of dresses on my lap and couldn’t help but rest my head on them. Then I continued to cry.

“You never finish what you start”

I sat there paralyzed in my own bullshit, because thats what this was, it’s complete and utter bullshit. I thought of 1000 ways to die. How life would be better without me but that was all bullshit. I will be honest with what I have to say, I was missing people. It doesn’t matter how much a person can hurt you, what hurts the most isn’t what they did to you, its the vacant feeling you have in your heart once they leave. Thats what I have been feeling. I was missing people I should have forgave and forgotten a long time ago. I was missing things that no longer exist. I was missing a person I no longer was, in favor of what I was doing. That is not healing. That is not moving on. It’s amazing what your mind does when you’re upset. Flashbacks, conversations, and photographs. I am really good at keeping everything hidden inside of my heart until one day everything starts spilling out. In that moment, I thought about the dresses. Each dress distinctly different in style and color. I thought about the last time I wore each dress and if they served their purpose. I thought about memories I thought I had forgetten and memories I can’t seem to forget. Then before I knew it, I stopped crying.

I know I am not where I am suppose to be. I know that I have done a lot of things differently than I had expected. I know that I have let a lot of people hurt me and I in turn have hurt a lot of people. Its not my quest to be perfect, and as human as I try to be I will continue to make mistakes. It took me to clean out my closet to realize that at this current moment I am not good to anyone right now. I can’t keep my life together, what makes me expect the same from others. As much as I miss people, I can’t help them and they can’t help me. People have lives to lead and follow. I have to do the same for myself. I’ll always have the closet full of clothes and the hundreds of dresses waiting to be worn. But my memories don’t live there anymore.

Before I could shed another tear, I picked myself up and started putting the dresses back on the hangers. Followed by color, then by style. Dress by dress back on the garment rack. Memory by memory back to the racks that hold on to life on every plastic hanger. Everything back to it’s right place.

8/7/2015 – Day One.

If we have to be honest, nobody likes admitting defeat. Nobody likes to admit they are wrong. Nobody in their right mind can admit to feeling any ounce of pain, when the rest of the world is feeling otherwise. Which is why in many instances we hide how we feel in the fear of seeming crazy or vulnerable. Because we were taught at a young age that showing a tiny fraction of vulnerability would be your ultimate downfall. We all want to be strong, we all want to be right, we all want to be just fine. As you grow up, the world changes. Now a days everyone wants to express their feelings. Everyone wants to admit they’re wrong and show their faces through feelings of weakness. How do you give up a lifetime of hiding your feelings, into tiny moments of vulnerability? How do you change the fear of feeling hurt when everyone wants you to embrace your pain? I wonder why it takes longer to forgive when we’re faced with everything we are trying to forget. I just haven’t gotten to that point yet.

The past few days I’ve felt more emotional than usual. I have cried more, complained more, fought this inner turmoil of the devil and god that continues to rage inside of me. As of recently I have begun to develop a paranoia of telling anyone my problems. As of lately I have been keeping a lot of my worries to myself. Its stupid, I shouldn’t do it, and it only makes me feel worse inside. However, I just don’t care to deal with the “What you should do”, “When that happens to me”, usual verbiage. I guess in a weird way, I want to confess how I feel without judgement. Without the shame, without someone stopping me to tell me their story. I feel suffocated with words but to express them would be my greatest downfall. I am not prepared to hear the outcome of my worries. I am not ready to express my feelings without worry or doubt. I am not ready for people to come in and nitpick my feelings and tell me how to change them.  Today of all days, I don’t feel very much like myself. Today of all days I want to shout to the heavens to hear me out. Today of all days I want to get out of this suffocated feeling and get out of myself. Even if it’s just for a few hours.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I have a hard time doing things alone. I have this anxiety in regards to my peers that paralyzes my social interactions. I can’t explain it and even writing it down, I have a hard time believing it. I am fine when I do social activities with my friends. I make jokes, I amuse myself and others, I over exaggerate situations, but to do anything on my own I am frightened. At any moment something could jump out and take me out of the safe bubble I am in. When I am on my own, I plot my strategies and plan my exit routes. Everything I do alone is perfectly calculated and memorized. You don’t know how frightening life can be when you can’t do things alone. I can’t tell you how this started, I can’t tell you why it continues but I can say that I can’t do this anymore. This never ending waiting for people to come in and help me realize my frustrations. Today of all days, I just need a moment to collect myself and get out of my current frustrations. If I had it my way, I’d run away to the highest hills. Into the deepest forests and away from civilization. However, I also have a huge fear of the great outdoors which limits my hiding places. On the days when I need to get lost within myself, I hide in plot lines and other peoples stories. I hide between melodies of film scores and conversations of other individuals written words. I have been in love with film for as long as I can remember. As long as I can pretend to be someone else on someone else’s time. I only as of recently started going to the movies by myself, as a way of entertaining the idea that I can do things on my own. But how many of us are really alone when we are attached to our cellphones and social media? For the past few days I have deleted all social media on my phone (which the exception of Snapchat). Since I haven’t been feeling like talking to many people, I haven’t been social with very many people either. It is no fault of anyone and under no fault of my own, I just feel this need to be on my own and alone.

Since giving up on social media, I have limited my outlets to be social. I have always been distracted with taking photographs and immediately posting my whereabouts on social media. The last couple of days, I just haven’t felt like showing people how I feel. Showing people what I’m doing, who I am with, or even giving people a glimpse into my life. I don’t care if anyone reads what I have to say, but to see what I am doing is causing a huge paranoia that I don’t need in my life. Everyone is quick to judge my hypocrisy but never want to comment about what I am going through. I really don’t know who I am without my phone in my hand or a camera in front of my face. I have almost lost my identity just pushing objects in front of my face to hide who I am. Getting lost in someone else’s idea of reality gives me a chance to breathe. A chance to pretend that someone else’s life is connected with my own. I’ll be honest, I don’t like the movie theater in my hometown. The snacks are lousy, the popcorn sucks, and they don’t have any fancy soda fountains that the other theaters do. If I had my way I would watch every film at The State Theatre in Modesto or The Vine in Livermore or Archlight in Hollywood. However, I live quite a bit away from all of those places, so the AMC Theater in Manteca will just have to do. I have my movements calculated that going to that theater is almost routine. I follow the same roads, I park in the same spots, and I just know what I am doing before I am doing it. It’s a routine I follow every time, mainly insuring that I always have a parking spot, another that I avoid every human contact possible until I reach the theater. It’s just little things I do to give myself a moment before I have to be faced with interactions of any sort.

I don’t know what I am doing anymore. That’s a fact. I find myself rubbing my hands together in frustration just trying to calm my nerves down. This anxiety of being alone and with no one to comfort these fears. This fear of being completely open without saying a word. I didn’t realize how much I depended on my phone. How much I depended on communications from the social media world. How jaded I have become from the faces I see in front of me, just by staring down on a tiny phone screen. I almost don’t know what to do with myself. What do you do when you can’t occupy yourself and your fears with a tiny digital underworld. I arrived to the movie theater early and after deciding to see the film “Southpaw”, (mainly the curiosity of the film being Kurt Sutter’s (Sons of Anarchy) first film script and second being the beautiful beast of Jake Gyllenhaal), I had time to kill before the movie started. You don’t realize how much you separate yourself from the real world when you’re focused on the digital world. You have a habit of forgetting how you got through life without a phone attached to your hand. I found myself sitting on a bench waiting to be let into the theater. Sitting, thinking, analyzing, wondering, people watching. Life has a way of wanting you to photograph everything. Every passing moment that happens right in front of you. I found myself fixated on these phantom photographs of people that passed in front of me. Men, women, and children, their variety of reasons for being in the same place that I was. For different reasons or this comfort of being surrounded by the people they cared about most, intertwined with someone else’s idea of reality. My hands still twitched, feeling this need to tell someone how I felt. Show people everything that I was seeing. Instead I rubbed my hands together and kept everything to myself.

Southpaw

I love films that give you this mystified way of feeling tragically heartbroken and happily moved. For my current state, I thought the film was great. I thought it truly emphasized this need to overcome demons and prove that people can be better than their past. I loved that it allowed me this need to escape from what I was feeling and transport myself into someone else. I know I am not okay. I know I have fears of doing things alone and being able to do something like this takes everything I have inside of me. To give this false illusion of being somewhere else in my mind, allows me to breathe again just for a little while. I have 99 more days to go and I wonder how much longer I can take it. How much longer I can continue before I completely break. Then again, maybe I am suppose to break in order to be put back together again.

Only time will tell.