Emotional Healing. Child of an alcoholic. Young adult depression. Inspiration.

I was once told by a wise woman that emotions are a strong force to be reckoned with. They breathe their own life and have their own destructive force. If one does not allow their emotions both happy and sad to escape and feel acknowledged, they will eat away at the life they live in. My journey in life has been a road filled with many peaks of happiness and many valleys of depression. But through it all I have held those words of wisdom with me. I have always found it easy to release my anguish, my depression, my sadness, and my happiness to those around me who love me and to my best friends “pad and paper.”



With this blog I hope to inspire others to write their emotions on paper, let the forgiving page hear all the words of hurt, pain, contentment, joy. With this blog I hope to inspire myself to forgive all that hurts in my life, to let go of old grudges and to grow, from the inside out.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

LESSON LEARNED

Relapse. That one word can be the scariest for any recovering addict or their family to hear. I can’t say that I know what goes through an addicts mind when all of the hard work of sobriety crumbles around them but I can tell you what went through my mind as I saw my father relapse. This is a hard subject for me to talk about here. Many of my family members read this and I nor my mom have told them about the recent relapse that my father had in an attempt to keep the front that we are okay and the big happy family that we appear. But to not say anything is lying to both our family and ourselves. And in order to heal I need to write, and hopefully help someone else heal.
A few weeks ago I became aware of my father’s relapse in possibly the worst way possible. My dad fell into our front screen door and broke it as he crashed to the ground. I was so scared when I heard the sound of him falling I thought there was something seriously wrong with him. It wasn’t until I tried to help him and he couldn’t move or talk and I could smell the vodka on his breath that I realized what had happened. I eventually got him into a chair, but he still couldn’t talk to me and was very immobile. I was so angry, hurt and disappointed that I went into self preservation mode. I left him. I didn’t know what else to do. I was so blinded by the swell of emotions building up inside of me I couldn’t think of anything else to do.
The next day was an emotional one. My dad had no memory of what had happened but he knew that he had screwed up. He had decided that he wanted to move into a sober living home and attempt to heal himself there. And despite the anger I had felt toward him the night before I couldn’t fathom him not living under the same roof as me. My mom feeling similar to myself decided that we all needed to sit down and talk as a family. Which I can’t remember ever happening in my life. We didn’t hold back our feelings to protect each other and we had to face the issues we held in our hearts. I know it sounds silly but my dad told me that he doesn’t want this for himself. That he wishes he didn’t have the urge to drink and that this wasn’t the disease that he had to deal with.  And for the first time I think I saw this disease as just that a disease. My dad doesn’t drink to hurt me, which is exactly what I had felt like for so long. Like every drink was a big F You to me. I realized that this isn’t just something that my dad has to deal with but something that we are going to have to deal with as a family. I needed to hear my dad talk about his addiction, to hear his feelings about it which we’ve never done. And I told him mine and as I told him every ugly sentiment that laid in me  I began to feel better about everything and felt like a weight had been lifted from me. Now my feelings about his addiction haven’t suddenly vanished. I wish it were that easy. But my perception of it changed and I know how to better deal with the addiction.
If you have pain, anger or resentment toward the addict in your life I would suggest trying to sit them down and having an honest conversation with them. It can be painful and hurt but you’ll begin to heal yourself doing so. And if you have a situation where they don’t want to listen or want to talk about it, write them a letter. Tell them everything you’re feeling and give it to them. Even if they never read it you know that you’ve given it to them and that the pain you felt is on that paper and not welled up inside you.

Monday, October 29, 2012

KISMET KECKLE

There is something bittersweet about a death. It’s bitter and shocking and upsetting when we lose someone we love. We don’t understand the loss and we are angry that we didn’t have more time with our loved ones and sad that we no longer have them in our lives. But there is also something sweet about death. There is something sweet in the way that it brings families together, the way we lovingly remember those we have lost and the way that it makes us appreciate those we still have. I recently went to a funeral in Arizona for my Tia who passed away. And for lack of a better word it was bittersweet. My family was mourning the loss of a woman who was so strong for our family and who was one of the last of her generation in our family and through mourning her we grew as a family. I met family who I’ve only heard stories about and I got to enjoy family I only see once in a very long blue moon. We all reminisced and laughed and cried and we were a big family and that was beautiful to be a part of.

Personally I learned a lot more than I thought I would and not necessarily about life or death but about my own contributions to the world. I was talking with my Tio and we were actually discussing this blog and he asked me why I stopped writing. Unfortunately I didn’t have a good answer for him. I went with the usual I’m busy, tired, bla bla bla, but he saw beyond that. He saw that I didn’t know how to write about the happy side of what so many of us go through. He saw that I needed some inspiration and a kick in the butt to get motivated again; and that’s exactly what he did. He guided me towards a shining ball of inspiring light that I promised him I’d hold on to and really get back to my writing. So here it goes again, I’m going to write again and try to reach all of those who have experienced any of what I have in my life. I want to inspire and show hope and light to our sometimes dark situations. Because if my words can reach just one person I know that it’s all worth it.

It’s sad, like I’ve said that it took a death to make me realize that I can’t stop writing and that I have so much to offer the world. But I’m glad that my family motivated me to keep going.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Juxstaposing Journeys

I found myself writing this on a to go menu for Panera and that makes me happy because its been a while since my words and thoughts couldn’t be contained until I go to a computer or proper pen and paper. Maybe my pizzazz for writing is returning. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Do you ever wonder how different your life would be if you had made a left at the fork in the road instead of a right? Would you have full tattoo sleeves and nipple piercings? Or would you play polo and sip afternoon sangria at the country club? Have you ever thought about what decisions in your life have led you to be where you are and who you are now? Recently this is something that I’ve been pondering, a tangent that I’ve allowed myself to wander down. And it’s an interesting journey to see where your life might be had you made your choices differently. I wonder if I would be starting my own family in some alternate universe, or if I’d already be working on my Masters degree.  As I go down all of the hypothetical roads I begin to wonder who it would be in my life that I would be missing out on had my journey been different, and that thought alone halts any further day trips down
Almost Ave.
I can’t even begin to imagine an existence with out some of the key players in my life. There’s my loveably goofy best friend who has changed my life so much, been my sounding wall and occasional cheer leader. Or my peculiarly amazing love with out whom I feel I’d be a very different person, he’s taught me to love myself, and how to open up to others. I don’t care if my life style would be better or classier in my alternate universe, I can’t image trading my friends and family for any other way of life. So I guess, as interesting as it may be to imagine things differently I am happy with all of my decisions just as they are, because they’ve helped shape me and give me the many amazing people that I am so fortunate to call my friends and family. I love you all.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Involuntary Insecurities

There’s something sad to be said about a person whose insecurities overpower their compassion, a person whose selfishness overshadows their friendships. In my life I have had my fair share of encounters with these people. They come in all shapes and sizes from the boy in school who laughed at your expense, to the girl who you thought was a friend but liked your boyfriend more than she liked you. We are surrounded by these people in our lives and we even are them from time to time. They have an uncanny ability to hurt us, belittle us and pass their insecurities on to us. And I personally am sick of it. I hate wondering if I need to worry about if I’m cool enough. Or feeling anxious every time someone texts him, wondering if she’s still trying to get with him. I hate it all, and I don’t want to be a part of it. We all have our insecurities in life; even the most confident person has a glimmer of self-doubt. And as soon as we can accept that about ourselves, and stop being catty and going behind each others backs we can truly change our worlds. Why would you want to inflict your pain on someone else for your own gain? And let’s face it; we never gain much when we do that. You end up making your self look like a villain and loose people who could truly be close to you. I hope we can all learn from our past experiences, at one point or another we’ve all been hurt and all hurt someone. And I think it can end now. To all those out there that have gone behind my back, made snide remarks or try to humiliate me I forgive you. And to those that I have put in this situation I am sorry. I hope that this can reach some fraction of the world out there and maybe we can see a difference in our lives.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Heroic Heterism

Our world is a constant and consistent carousal of ebb and flow, trial and error, actions and reactions, or simply put, changes. Whether we notice it or not our days are filled with a steady dance of revolution. We are constantly changing, evolving and hopefully progressing toward the next piece of our lives. To look back at my life just a year ago I am amazed at how far I’ve come and how much has changed in the lives of myself and those around me. It seems so unreal that in just a year my family has run a marathon of emotions, situations and circumstances that some may never experience in their life times. At the begging of this journey I was angry that I had so much on my plate and that I had to deal with it all. I constantly wondered why I had been given this lot in life and why it couldn’t all just be easier. But as I changed and grew it became easy to understand that this happened for a reason, and that I am so much stronger for it. Despite the nights I spent sleepless due to uncertainty or the fact that I will always be worried about it all falling apart again, I would never change a single day of my life. The mountains I climbed and the valleys I stumbled through have brought me to a place of acceptance and contentment. Now I wouldn’t say that I am happy that everything that has brought me to this place has happened, but I am happy and proud of the growth that it has brought along with it. In understanding that we are always changing we can grasp the idea that after every down there is an up. Just like riding a carousal.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Genuinely Grateful

If you would have caught me a year ago, or even a few months ago, I would have been the queen of “woe is me.” I had mastered the art of feeling sorry for myself and even began to master the art of making others feel sorry for me. I felt so terrible that my lot in life wasn’t that of a Stepford family, rather I was dealt with what I felt was a losing hand of poker. And had I been an outsider looking in, I probably would have wanted to slap myself. It took a good long talk with a strong woman, who I am fortunate enough to consider a mentor, to really whack my woe is me ways away. She helped me open my eyes to how truly grateful I should be with the blessings my life has given me.
Now that I have come to my epiphany I seriously wonder how I had let my perception become so clouted. How can I not be so grateful that my dad was hired at the same place that helped him recover? How can I not be so grateful that despite my mom not having a job, that she has been able to remain so positive and such an angel for my dad and I? How can I not be grateful that I have a group of friends who care so deeply for me and are there for me to provide unconditional love and support? How can I not be grateful that I’ve found a job, that I actually really enjoy, a job that pays me enough, so worrying about bills isn’t an issue? How can I not be grateful for all the small blessings that I have in my life everyday?
That’s right, I have to be grateful. And yes I know that I will have days that will feel less than perfect, but from now on I know not to dwell on those days. Those days don’t define my life, me or my interactions with others. From now on the positive in my life is what will fuel my being. Something as simple as a smile will be the firewood for my soul. Because now I am grateful; grateful for every little thing that my life has to offer me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Forever

It feels as though there are so few moments in life where we can feel truly connected to another person, let alone a group of people. An occasional sports game can give us a sense of unity, or an intimate moment with a loved one, but these situations can last a few seconds and be fleeting in our lives. With the advances of technology in our everyday interactions such as facebook updates, texts messages and emails we keep our selves at a distance from actually making connections to those who are right in front of us. And this advancement in technology is truly amazing in a technical sense and even in its ability to keep us connected to people we otherwise wouldn’t be able to, however it is disheartening that we have become unable to sit across a table from someone and have a conversation with that person and not check our phones for texts, updates or emails.

But there are moments, however unfortunate the circumstance that brings them about might be, that have an amazing power to unite, and ignite a sense of love, compassion and brotherhood that so often is overlooked or unused in our lives. Recently our world saw two life altering events, one united us against a common evil and brought out our pride and love for one another, the other has cemented this feeling of camaraderie in a spectacular showing of patriotism and unfiltered joy, that as a child seeing both events has brought tears to my eyes to witness.

I hate the circumstances in which our unity has been developed; however I am enveloped in a sense of heart warmth with our reaction to it. And I truly hope that as the days, months and years pass from these times that we are all able to hold on to the feelings of oneness that we have been so fortunate enough to grasp. I feel as though if we can all hold a moment of unity with our brothers and sisters in our hearts, we are destined to head for a great place.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Escape Ecmnesia

Disclaimer: This post may anger those older than me. You may want to hit me, tell me to shut up or simply ride my rant off as nonsensical.

You usually hear of people who are turning 30 or 50 complain about their lost youth and how they fear the next decade of their life. I feel as though I am experiencing that anxiety as my 22 birthday approaches. I know it sounds absolutely ludicrous but I am truly dreading this upcoming birthday. I feel as though the year 22 of my life marks my true welcoming to adulthood; a pool that I’ve been swimming in for years, just unnoticed by the grownups. I’m worried that the days of my life where the opportunity to be careless and easygoing are going to be behind me. And I never even enjoyed them. I used to work for myself, my own spending money to do as I pleased. That changed, and now my money goes to bills and rent. I am constantly crunching numbers in my head, wondering if I worked theses extra hours if we can afford to pay the phone bill or if I got this job and that wage how much more would I bring in.
But please don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful that I can take care of my family. They’ve been the ones to look after me when I couldn’t look after myself and now it’s my turn. And I’m so happy that I am able to care for them. I just have my moments of day dreams, where I’m not worried about what we can afford, where the numbers I’m crunching are part of a math equation for school. Where life is just simple and easy.
I’m afraid of the upcoming year, because I’m worried that these stresses in my life will only worsen, and soon enough I’m going to wake up at 30 and look back and not see anything.
I know it’s a silly fear, like my aversion to velvet, but its one of those things that I just can’t shake. As each day is marked off the calendar and the dates get closer and closer to the Bday my anxiety and dread grows and grows. Hopefully after the day comes and goes I can read this and write again saying that I was wrong and overreacting. But until then, I’m hoping for a “16 Candles” birthday.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Divine Dreams

“Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin' - this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin”
For those movie buffs out there you automatically now these iconic words from a little movie known as Pretty Woman. I recently thought of this line from the beginning of that movie while I was writing at the top of
Mulholland Dr.
overlooking the city. It got me thinking about the nearly 10 million people living in Los Angeles and their 10 million dreams and their 10 million stories, and how I am just one of those dreams.
I am simply a girl with a dream of using my words to inspire those who read my lexis. To use my voice as a catalyst for change, and a source of comfort to those in need. My dream is to create beauty in every piece of life, no matter how mundane or ordinary it may be. My dream is to give everyone a voice.
So I will keep writing and keep creating in hopes that these words touch those who read it. I hope that you will do the same in life. No matter how far fetched your dreams may seem, try to make it a reality. And if they don’t work out there is “always time to dream, so keep on dreamin.”

Cracked-Up

Have you ever heard the expression “don’t put all your eggs in one basket?” If you haven’t, think about it for a moment. If you have and have also done as this saying cautions you not too, then you know the stomach sinking feeling when all your eggs break because you tripped and landed on your basket.
Over the years I have tried not get my hopes up in situations where I’m not sure what the outcome will be. I’ve had more than enough moments where I was so sure of something only to be told that I wasn’t the perfect fit, or he’s just not that into me. I have learned over time that if I don’t expect much there is no way to be disappointed, because I don’t take disappointment well at all.
But just the other day I put all my eggs, a lot of eggs, in one basket. I didn’t heed my own warning about these situations and I was walking with my head high and proud and didn’t see a rock and I fell hard on my basket. Cracking every single one of my eggs.
But this time instead of crying over my cracked eggs, I saw it as an opportunity for change. It dawned on me as the familiar feeling of “not again” began to wash over my body that there was no reason to allow my stumble to keep me from still going. Yes, what I was so sure about and wanted so badly didn’t work out, but how many other great opportunities is it now giving me? Plenty!
So now, when I crack my eggs, I’m simply going to invite some friends over and make a good scramble.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bare feet, Big toes & Bunions

Relationships can give you super highs of self confidence and lonely lows of self consciousness. When you’re having a good day you can feel as though you’re the only person your partner can look at. But when you have those days, and we all have them, that you don’t feel as beautiful as you are, you can begin to nitpick at yourself, “my boobs are too small…he like blondes…I’m too chubby,” so many falsely perceived imperfections that we all want to change.
Let me pull an example out of my life’s book. I once dated a man with a foot fetish. So for me it wasn’t my waist or my bust or my butt that caused me my moments of anxiety about my body, it was my feet. And aside from a pedicure, there isn’t much you can do to conform your feet to some one’s idea of perfection. I did however think of Chinese foot binding, and then Googled it, terrible, terrible idea!
But in any case I started noticing other women’s feet, comparing my own to theirs. I began to grow more and more aware of my feet. Of how they looked, felt, even how they smelled. I began to crazy about them. He would tell me that it didn’t matter, that he liked me and my feet just they way I am, a plus size girl with size 9.5 feet and little bunions. Yet I could never believe him.
It actually took a good long look in the mirror for me to realize that he was right. That despite my imperfections, my big feet or bunions, that he wasn’t just dating my feet. He was dating me. Slowly I began to stop looking at other girl’s feet in comparison to mine and I began to accept myself,
Now I haven’t been in a relationship since my foot fetish friend so I can’t say that I’m now a changed woman. But I can hope that I go into my next relationship knowing that I am beautiful and worthy of love despite my imperfections. And who ever is next to accompany me through my journey will do just that, love me for my imperfections.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Absolute Apologies

“I’m Sorry” Those two words seem to be some the most difficult for any person who is in the wrong to say.  No one likes to admit that what they have said or done had consequences they weren’t anticipating. Or that their actions negatively affected someone. No one likes to admit that they’re wrong and because of that apologies are hard to come by.
I too have a hard time saying those two words. I can say it a thousand times in my head before I can conjure the courage to say it out loud to the person who most needs to hear it. And by the time I’ve actually said “I’m sorry” the damage of my silence has often already taken its toll.
Relationships can be ruined, grudges held, anger and resentment combusting into a terrible mushroom cloud of acrimony and bitterness. All because we are to afraid to say that we were wrong? Own up to our faults? And simply just say “I’m sorry”?
Well I don’t want any part of that. When I am wrong I will be humble and understanding of what I have done and I will apologize. I don’t want to loose anymore relationships because I am afraid of two words or what they symbolize. My own ego or pride can take a back seat to those I love in life that I may hurt along the line. I will practice humility and perceptiveness in all situations of my life. And never again allow a relationship, friendship or an acquaintance to suffer from not hearing “I’m Sorry” when I have wronged them.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Zesty Zephyr

I’ve recently decided that my life is rather mundane. That my life has become to scheduled and regimented. I hardly ever do what I want, because I feel the need to please everyone else and am worried what people will think of me. Or I become too worried about grown up responsibilities to allow myself to do something. I want to travel to New York, but how expensive is the ticket? How can I get the out of work? Who will go with me? Every decision I make has so many factors to take into account that spontaneity isn’t something I know much about. I’m 21 and already an old maid.
So as the season of change is upon us and resolutions are being made, I too will join the masses to make a resolution for the New Year. I here by declare that I will allow myself to be selfish. I will allow myself to be spontaneous. I will not over analyze every situation and I will do things for me. I will be a breath of fresh air. I will be a Zesty Zephyr in 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

YesterYear

I’m generally a very optimistic person. I don’t allow negative things to effect me. I try to always see the positive in a situation. But for some reason these past few days have been some really pessimistic ones for me. At work I say “Happy New Years” to my customers, and almost always their reply is “Lets hope its better than 2010.” I remember saying something very similar for the past few years, but I’ve been proven wrong every time. In 2008 my dad got his first DUI… “Let’s hope its better than 2008” In 2009 we lost our house and my mom lost her job of over 25 years… “Let’s hope its better than 2009” In 2010 my dad got his second DUI and we moved a second time in under a year. So as this year comes to its final few days, thinking that 2011 is going to be a better year almost seems to be a futile effort. I’m afraid to get my hopes up for 2011, because I don’t want to see myself a year from now adding another unfortunate benchmark to that list.
However, as much as I would love to shut up the optimist in me, and just wallow in these pessimistic view, because they are much easier to conjure than optimistic ones, I can’t allow myself too. Yes, life these past years have been hard. It can bring tears to my eyes just thinking about them. But with the bad, also comes the good. And although it is hard to see the silver lining on what seems like a cloud that will not move, I know it has to be there. So although I do not want to read this a year from now, and say “I told you so” to myself, I will hope for better in 2011. 2011 will bring me and my family strength, happiness, serenity and more optimistic days.

So to all I say Happy New Year. Lets hope its better than 2010.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Xmas & Xanax

Christmas in my house has always been a big to do. Our holiday schedule was always packed and our hearts filled with happiness for the season. This year however has been a much different story from the rest. Stress and dips of depression with a mix of “this came way too fast” have all added up to a Christmas that doesn’t feel like Christmas. With my dad being in rehab and it just being my mom and I it never really felt like the season was going to come. As if our lives were going to fast forward through these months. So when the actualization that it was here finally hit us, I think we both went into a tail spin. Decorations. A tree. Gifts. Family traditions. Christmas Carols. Stockings.  It all became a bit overwhelming. But my mom, ever the warrior, was determined to make our humble home feel like it used to. Finding bits of our decorations hiding under beds, she decorated our house with a little cheer. And even became very inventive when it came to getting our Christmas tree. My mom helped bring the true meaning of Christmas to my eyes. Its not the material things that we celebrate. It’s the laughter, the love, the family and being thankful for what you have. This year more than any other I should, and will be most grateful to just wake up tomorrow morning and have my mom and my dad all sitting and enjoying each others company, because that’s the biggest gift I could have asked for this year.  I guess you can call this Christmas in my house hold “The Miracle on
Riverside Dr
.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wakeup Wonderful

Have you ever gotten up one morning and just felt like it was going to be a bad day? Where the moment your eyes opened and looked to see that the sun was shinning you knew you weren’t ready for it. Lately I feel like I have those mornings rather frequently…okay pretty much everyday. I feel like as soon as I wake up there is one problem or another that is going to slap me in the face. I guess that’s all in line when the stress of the holidays pairs with the stress of being the daughter of a recovering alcoholic. But whatever the reason may, waking up is becoming a depressing chore. And please don’t get me wrong, I have never been a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, but when I did get up, being awake didn’t seem so bad; It’s probably because my mom used to sing to wake me, “wakeup my lil baby, wakeup!” best way to wake up ever! How can you have a bad day when you’re being sung too to wake up?

That must be it; my mom would wake me up with positivity. Even when times have been rough in the past, which they have, my mornings were started dazzlingly with a song from mom. I’ve got to find a way to wake myself with my own song. A positive message in the morning to tell myself that no matter what the day will bring, I can handle it and it will be a good day. Now because I cant exactly sing myself awake, and also because I don’t have a great voice, I will start my mornings with two simple words. “Wakeup Wonderful.” With these two words, my mornings will start with a positive spin and I will have good days. So to everyone out there, I say to you wakeup wonderful!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vividly Vacant

mellow yellows reds and blues
colors blurring
flowing from his open mind
beauty flying
flapping and drifting
through space and time
seeing fully
no cover to the experience
no top to blow off
just being
allowing the colors
to bleed from his open mind
and float away
on a parasol of flowing air
a peaceful state of mind
closing his eyes
as the butterflies
escape his tired mentality
free of restriction
free of judgment
as the muted colors
become nothing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Umbilical Underachievers

We all love to hear a story about a person who despite all challenges in their life is able to emerge from their struggles a strong, independent person; a person we would see on Oprah bearing their heart and telling their story of success.  We all love an underdog. However these stories are not nearly as frequent as we would like to hear. Rather for every one person who may make it out of their situations there are at least one hundred who are waiting to be cast on the Jerry Springer Show. People who despite growing up in a situation that hasn’t worked for those around them, haven’t learned enough to try a different path in life. It may sound mean or crass, but I call these individuals Umbilical Underachievers.
I vow to myself that I will not have the same life my parents have led from themselves. I am smart enough to take their life lessons and teach myself what in life to do or not to do. I’m in no way saying that they have led less than satisfactory lives, but I am saying that I will take what they have given me and make it better. And I feel that that is a gift that ever parent should wish for their child, and every child want for themselves.
It astounds me when I hear another heart breaking story of a girl who is pregnant at 15, whose mom had her at 16 and so on. I am flabbergasted that the cycle was never broken. And granted this situation works out wonderfully for some, those are the Oprah stories, it doesn’t for all.
Do we as a society glorify these situations? Do we say it is okay to not break the cycle by giving publicity like, Teen Mom, True Life, Jerry Springer or Steve Wilkos? Yes, they make good drama but those are real people, living real lives, who aren’t making life better for themselves. Instead of having shows where we just sit and watch these people stay stagnant in life, I believe we should all go out and try to better our lives. Don’t look toward those shows that showcase a mundane life to justify your life. Rather look towards those people who have been able to surface from their lives dirt as a inspiration and a goal to work towards.
We have it in us all to make a better life for ourselves. We just have to believe that we can and not loose sight of that goal. And when it comes time to give the gift of hope to your children, please oh please don’t allow them to be umbilical underachievers. Allow them to blossom. And allow yourself to blossom too. Don’t be afraid!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Terrific Turkey Tanya

For as long as I can remember I’ve never had one of those tame families that you see on T.V. that sit quietly at a long banquet table all eagerly awaiting the head of the house to carve the turkey and once the first bites of their thanksgiving feast are taken everyone applauds and says “Terrific Turkey Tanya” or “You must give us your secret.” Never!
Instead my Thanksgivings are loud and boisterous. Lively music plays and a cacophony of voice create a beautiful Thanksgiving Day Carroll. We don’t pass around the mashed potatoes and wait for the person to our left to finish filling their plate. We eat buffet style, serve yourself and everyone then sits at one of the many tables set up to accommodate our large clan. But instead of digging in right away, we all wait for everyone to serve themselves and sit down. We wait to pray and share with all what we are thankful for. And we appreciate that moment. That time that we are all together as one big crazy, happy family.
This year unlike many others, I don’t know what to say. Not because I don’t feel that I have anything to be thankful for. Quite the opposite, I am overwhelmed with thanks. And how could I not be? I am so thankful to my whole family for all the love and support they’ve shown my mom and myself. I truly don’t know how I would have survived with out it.
I am thankful for my Tia Lupe, who has inspired me to write. She has pushed me to realize my passion and take the reins in my life. This blog would never exist if it weren’t for her.
I am thankful for my Tio Mario, who with no questions asked, jumped into action when my mom and I were in need.
I am thankful for my Tia Norma, for making my mom laugh. My Tio Fernando, for always being a listening ear. And my Tia Rosie for her continual love, prayers and support.
I am so grateful for my Uncle Gary and Aunt Janet. For taking care of my dad, and giving him the love and support he needed when my mom and I couldn’t give him that. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say thank you enough.
I am so grateful for my Uncle Larry and Aunt Betty for always being ready to help my mom and I with anything we need. And for being there for my dad. It means so much to me.
I’ve had amazing friends who have been so understanding of everything I’ve been going through, who have been my shoulder to cry on and have allowed me to breathe when I am with them, Matiana, Daniel and Ellie, I am thankful for you.
I am Thankful for my dad for finally positively focusing on himself, and taking the steps he needs to help his family. I am so grateful to have my hero make his comeback.
But most of all I am thankful for my mom. I’m crying as I write this, because the constant love, support and smiles she gives me everyday help me know that no matter what everything will be okay.

We all have something in our lives to be grateful and thankful for, no matter how hard things may seem. In this season of giving and thanks, I ask you all to give me one thing, and that is to let someone in your life know that you are thankful for them.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sweet Surrender

I surrender.
I surrender to powers greater than my own.
I surrender to knowing that I don’t know everything
I surrender
I surrender trying to be the best
And will allow myself to be me
I surrender trying to make others happy
I will make myself happy first
I surrender control over every aspect of life
Please, spontaneity, hit me like a ton of bricks
I surrender
I surrender my self consciousness
I surrender my anger toward the past
I surrender
I now throw up my white flag on all of the negative in my life.
Universe, it is now yours to take.
Bury it in the bottom of the ocean
Or send it high into the sky to join the stars
But no longer will they be mine, or a part of me
I surrender it all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Right & Resistant

 
Whether it is a simple game of chess or a heated argument, no one likes to loose. It is human nature to play to win, you’ll never hear “Play to loose” from a coach to his team as they’re about to go play for the championship. And arguments are never settled by both sides giving up; unless the person playing or arguing is me. For as long as I can remember I’ve never liked to win. A part of me has always felt guilty winning against someone, as though I am hurting their feelings or making them inferior due to my win. That doesn’t mean I don’t play games, or that I don’t argue, cause trust me, my parents or close friends will tell you different. But the closer I get to winning a game or an argument, the more guilty I begin to feel.
I’ve boiled this resistance to winning down to my underlying issue of always needing to please others, and putting others happiness before my own. I feel that the person I’m playing scrabble with will get more joy out of playing if they gain the most points from their tiles than if I did. I don’t allow myself to enjoy the same happiness someone else may receive from winning because I feel I’ve stolen it from them, even if I won fair and square.
Doesn’t that sound absolutely insane? Well it does to me too. So now that I’ve verbalized my insanity I will change it. I vow to myself to feel the joy of winning. No longer will I let guilt get the better of me. I will stick to my stance in an argument, and I will play my hardest, cause I deserve to win just as much as the next person.
Any one want to play a game of Scrabble?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quitting Questions

Questions, I have so many. Some are silly and some may never be answered. But still these questions have taken up residence in my head. I can usually satiate my need to know the difference between “GREY” and “GRAY” by looking up the answers on Google, or if its one of those questions that has no true answer I just leave them behind like dirty laundry to be dealt with on another day. However sometimes I toss so much in that pile that it explodes. And when these questions won’t be quiet I am hit with a barrage of “hows” “whys” and “whats.” It is in these explosions that I am most vulnerable, because then the most deadly question is brought out of the depths of my mind, the “what ifs…”
My mind immediately fills with thoughts like, “what if I was thinner,” “what if I didn’t act like that,” “ What if I let him go when he wanted to leave,” “WHAT IF…WHAT IF…WHAT IF…” I could drive myself crazy with all those thoughts. And I do.  With every “what if” that enters my mind a new layer of insecurity seems to cover me, like a poorly designed blanket that makes you colder instead of warm. As these layers pile up on my mind I fall into a dark place, a sad place, a place I’ve seen to often in my mind. I lie there in my pile of dirty laundry questions and create my own worst scenarios for every “what if.” It is only ever when I am tired of thinking that I begin to ascend out of my collection of questions. Upon my ascension I always feel the same, relieved that its over, and confident that I never want to do that to myself again; yet somehow I always do.
But in a effort to slowly change aspects of my life that I am unhappy about, I will keep myself out of that hole of quandaries and deal with each question, no matter how difficult, silly or unanswerable it may be, as it comes, and no longer allow them to pile up and take me over. I will no longer allow “what if” to have control over me for I am now quitting those questions.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Painfully Perfect Part 2

I was recently sent a personal story from a reader, who has begun in their journey to heal from the inside out with her own letter. Her words fit so perfectly into this entry that I felt it was necessary to share it here.

KAB, thank you for sharing a piece of your journey. I hope this inspires others to do the same, because we are not alone, rather a community of thrivers. Let your story be told.

Ever since I was a little girl, my role was to be the perfect one and my family’s saving grace. The hero. The one who was always put together, always social, always presentable, always involved. I did what I thought I had to do – got good grades, had good manners and went to etiquette classes at our beach club, did my hair, wore the right clothes and smiled A LOT. Too much. I even won “Most Put Together” in Kindergarten and this is something I would brag about for years to come.
My mom is a recovered alcoholic who has seemed to trade her drinking for relationships, and my father is still active in his addictions, especially gambling and alcohol. When my mom got sober, I felt like I lost a friend. I loved the mom I grew up with and when she got sober, I felt like I had a totally different person in my life. I still do.
My dad’s addiction to money, gambling and alcohol has completely paralyzed me in different areas of my life. Growing up, I was completely surrounded with opulence and excess, or the opposite. More than anything, I craved stability. My dream was to live somewhere in the middle and have that “happy family” that I saw everyone else surrounded with. My dad comes from an old wealthy Pasadena family who to this day believes that appearances are everything. My grandma now lives on the East Coast and she has a kitchen filled with Williams-Sonoma kitchenware, but the only thing in her fridge is vodka. Totally normal, right? I acted on this pressure to be perfect (and still do), and fought like hell to prove to everyone that I had it all together. I grew up thinking that image was everything and it is still something I struggle with. A smile hides everything, and over the years I have gotten so good at this that I totally fool everyone around me and myself. At a certain point, you get way too good at this game. I was the surrogate parent who took care of my sisters and continues to take on the role of the second mother. It is a role that I both resent and protect at the same time. I became so perfect that it started to kill me internally. I became the neurotic type-A perfect oldest daughter… so hell-bent on being perfect that I never slept and was always making to-do lists in my quest for sleep. Through this drive for perfection and filling this empty abyss in my heart, I developed an eating disorder – to be specific, binge-eating which progressed into bulimia. As the oldest daughter of an alcoholic, I love achieving and taking on the title of the perfect daughter. I became obsessed with achievements and being the “good girl”. I am learning more and more every day that there has to be a balance… we are neither good nor bad, perfect nor screw-ups. Right? It all sounds good, but I still feel the need to be perfect for them. Who are “they” anyway and where does this need come from? I am in recovery for my eating disorder, desire for perfection and my parents’ alcoholism but every day it becomes more obvious to me that what the experts say is so true – addiction is a family disease, and I am living proof of that.

~KAB

Painfully Perfect

Brown Eyes. Artistic Spark. Caring Heart. Family Values. Genuine Laugh. These are just a few of the amazing traits that I’ve been so fortunate to receive from my mom. But there is one trait, that I am glad was not passed down to me, and that’s her need to always have a fa├žade of a calm, cool and collected woman. Through the toughest times in our lives, when uncertainty was all we knew she would talk to her brothers and sisters as if our family were a part of a sappy 70’s sitcom.  She could never let them know that things were slowly crumbling, or that maybe she couldn’t handle what was being thrown at her. Instead with a false smile on her face she would say that everything was Hunky-Dory and never allow her family to try to help her.
I don’t know why she never felt that she could let others in on everything in her life, the good and the bad. Maybe it’s because if its said allowed, then she has to admit it to her self as well. Or that she’s afraid of what others will think when they hear about what has been happening. In either case, it was not healthy.
Lately however she has started to turn a new leaf, partly out of necessities and partly because of my own loud mouth when it comes to such issues (I have no problem letting people know the good, the bad or the ugly in my life). And even if it was an unwanted change, it was a change that she needed. And I think finally she is beginning to see it pay off. No longer is she burdened with all her woes on her shoulders alone, she is starting to realize that there are people who love her and who are willing to help her carry it. And that in its self must be a freeing piece of knowledge.
So to all those out there who have a veneer of painful perfection, I ask you to please allow someone else into your life and introduce them to the skeletons you’ve been hiding in your closet. Because as soon as you do, it will no longer be just you against the world, rather a brawling bash filled with laughs and tears and most importantly, you being free.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Overcast & Overjoyed

No sun peers over the majestic mountains. And summer rays cease to strike the warm earth. Instead grey lays over head and the cool whispers of wind breath all around. People in the streets wrap their coats tightly to their shivering bodies to keep out the cold breeze which has triumphed over the warmth. Murmurs of discontentment with the shadowy sky and soft lighting escape so many mouths, but not mine. I rejoice a day that the sun sleeps in and takes a break from being a bright being. I delight in a day that I’m able to lie in bed staring out the window and let my mind wander as far as the damp clouds cover. I let my fears fall with the rain and my insecurities slither down drain pipes as the overpowering clouds cover me and protect me. It is in these rare days of California weather that I truly feel happy. So as the cool beads of heaven hit my window and the earth’s chorus of zephyrs and droplets chime together to form a harmony of sounds that lend so beautifully to a freeing dance in the rain, I leave all my worries behind, go out side and dance a beautiful rainy day boogie.

Only Happy When It Rains

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Needing Nana

My family is cast of characters, a cornucopia of individuals who other than a few key features are very different. But even through their differences my mom’s brothers and sisters have a bond so close that I, an only child, envy so much. My aunts and uncles all have a spark of genuine love, life and caring that holds them together like the binding of a well read book.  I attribute this connection they all share to their mother, my grandmother, my namesake and truly one of the most influential people in my life.
My Nana has had a life of heartache, pain and trials, but that never interfered with the way she raised her kids. Despite her husband leaving her, alone to raise their six children, losing a baby or working two jobs to keep her children in catholic school so they would have a chance to get out of South Central Los Angeles she made sure to raise them not to pay attention to the negative in life but rather giving them a life full of love, laughter and light.
I feel that it’s through the strength that my Nana gave my mom and her siblings and even myself that my mom and I have been able to survive the craziness that our lives have been for the past few months. I thank my Nana for giving her children the strength, love and wonderful sense of family that she has, because with out it I know our lives would all be so much different. And as of right now, I wouldn’t change my life for anyone in the world.

We all have that special someone in our lives that has helped shape it and make it what it is today, for me it is my Nana, who is it for you?