Human detox

Two nights ago I dreamed of a room full of lizards and a staircase with a huge snake. I think we can conclude that, although I wasn’t panicking in the dream (I was actually fighting quite hard, but calmly, to get all reptiles out of the house, a house I was staying in but wasn’t mine), it wasn’t a pleasant dream.

 

I’m not superstitious but when I dream something I try to be aware because, and I might have written about this before, I dream something poignant and most times, something comes up. Like, when this happened?

I had dreamed about three salamanders hiding in a curtain two nights before. Yeah. You can’t make that stuff up.

 

Yesterday I received a visit from one of those people that can suck up all good energies like a vacuum. The type that will make the one comment that will drive you up a wall, on purpose, just to see your face. It feels like a ninja throwing a shuriken at your gut.

I’m tired of dealing with that kind of stuff. It’s draining and I don’t want to have that in me anymore. So I meditated a bit in the afternoon and used this mantra:

From this day on none of your words reside in my home.

From this day on none of your words reside in my loved ones.

From this day on none of your words reside in me.

I declare all your words vane and gone in the wind to never have meaning.

Off you go.

 

In a place where I have taken baby scorpions out of the bathroom I can’t rule out the possibility of finding a snake in my house. Heck, I might wake up one day and find baby Anaconda chillin’ in my kitchen, tail inside the sink going all “O hai!”

 

But something tells me that might have been the snake I dreamt of. And in that case, off you go.

The other side of the labyrinth

Yesterday I wanted to go spend the morning outside with baby J.

It looked like it was going to be a clear day (without the evil rain that is trying to drive me crazy) and I wanted to show her a new place, a park. When I was pregnant I had seen a little play place for kids near the town centre, I remembered a colourful slide and play house. So after preparing everything, which took me all morning, I headed out to try to find the place.

I still don’t know how to comfortably navigate the centre of the town so it takes me many turns and “was that the entrance? I think that was the entrance I had to take… oh yes, that WAS the entrance” to get to where ever I’m going. Add to that the fact that everyone in this town drives like they are insane and I can count with one hand the times I’ve gone out and come back in a good mood after dealing with the traffic here.

I mean, I worked in the metropolitan area of the island, the area where you have to be a driving “cowboy” (actual word used) to survive in the street and I thought I had seen everything. People driving in the emergency lane? Check. People violently provoking other people? Check. People willing to crash their car into yours to get in front of you or behind you or beside you or just because they feel like it? CHECK. But here… my God. What is a signal line, or a double line, or a yellow light, they have no idea. Anyway, no one here should drive period, but that’s not my point.

As I was saying, because I still don’t know how to get places here, it took me three whole trips all around the town centre to get to the place I was looking for. I parked right in front of the place and that’s when I noticed the sign that stated that it was in fact just a Head Start facility. No park for us.

And it’s sometimes so infuriating when that happens in life. You search so much for something, and it’s so exhausting to spend so much effort into trying to get somewhere and then when you finally get there, where ever you thought you where going, it’s not what you thought it was or where you needed to go.

There was a plaza nearby with water fountains and monuments but there was no shade for baby J so I ended up changing her diaper and coming back. She was ecstatic anyway because she loves car rides. As I settled in I thought how funny it was that I had driven around for so long only to change a diaper.

So it is what it is. Sometimes it takes a lot to get somewhere and you just end up dealing with some poop and coming back home only to re-discover that yes, home is just better.

Focus: The emptiness left behind

The worst thing about death, is to keep living.

 

The first loss I experienced was that of my first dog, Mota, who was a little white ten pound mix (resembling a Chihuahua). I adored that dog and when a car killed her in the street I kept asking my mother when was she coming back and why did someone kill her. My mother, who had amazing educating skills, gave me the valuable lesson of what dying meant. She later told me her family wanted to find a dog who looked just like Mota to try and trick me into thinking it was her, but my mother never lied to me and knew the right thing was to explain what had happened to my dog.

 

I later lost my maternal grandfather, who was my first and best friend, and I knew what I was going to face. I knew that while he received relief of all his ailments and pain, I had to keep living without him. Many years later, in a year’s period of time, I lost my paternal grandmother and grandfather, an uncle and a cousin. I know first hand then, that the hardest thing about experiencing death is the sadness that overcomes those who have to stay behind. We, the ones who have to keep going without those we love, have the worst part of death.

 

 

It’s never easy to keep on going after a loss. Our family still feels the pain but we have kept on going and this week we’ve even felt the sun shining on us.  That rock is now empty, but our hearts are filled because he left so much love behind. And with that love we step forward; may the love of all those we miss be on each of our steps permeating everything in our lives.

 

Have a good week.

Renewal: Stripping down to the basics

changes in process by narami
changes in process, a photo by narami on Flickr.

My mother is going to change this plant’s home soon and I catched it in the middle of the process.   Stripped down to it’s basic nature, that’s what sometimes comes before renewal.
 
There’s actually a few things that are changing and beginning anew around here and I’ll be able to exteriorize them later, but for now this is a great pararrel. 

Side note: I haven’t gotten around to my usual second post for the week, my bad. The new writing schedule for the new shift hasn’t been polished yet. But it will! 🙂 Have a great day.

Free Spirit: Getting to the top

I haven’t done this before for a Photo Challenge, but for this week’s theme I’m going to revisit the day I hiked Toro Negro.

 

In that post I described the whole adventure of the journey, the place and the experience, but at the time I didn’t want to mention that trip was a personal milestone.   It was less about the hike and much more about getting over myself.  It was Christmas, I was sad, things at work were not running smoothly, I was emotionally exhausted and stressed and I wanted to rise above it all, literally.  I wanted to feel taller, to look at it from above and realise that it was all tiny in comparison.  I wanted to breathe another air and sweat away the negativity to be able to receive the new year in better spirits.  That is what that trip gave me.

 

I planned this picture in my mind days before.

 

I wanted physical proof that I had been able to stand at the top and conquer.  As I reached this place I remember feeling that I could do it all.  I could get through the funk of a lonely Christmas, the not so good times at work, I could get over myself.  All that sadness and bitterness was insignificant because my life was much more than that bit of tears.  I could see that as I stood on the top of that mountain and took in that view, it was so healthy.

I didn’t feel my emotions go away immediately, it wasn’t an instant cure, but it gave me the hope I needed.  It gave me air and strength to carry on a bit longer, which is the whole trick to overcoming bad days;   just hold on a bit longer, have a bit more faith.

 

And then I was free.

No fear

We don’t fear what we don’t know.

The knowledge of pain and the memories of hurting keep you away from whatever harmed you.

 

 

I go down my house’s stairs in slow motion because I sliced my shin open on them when I was seven.

I triple check the iron whenever I’m handling it because I burned my hand with one when I was six.

I freak out about someone else being close to a car’s door if I’m closing it because I saw my cousin get his hand hit when we were young.

When I fry something I look like there’s a bomb alert because my cousin burned her arm frying french fries when she was thirteen.

When I finished shaving some days ago I shook the razor blade to remove the excess of water and, for the first time in my life, the blade hit my thigh in favor of the cutting edge.  I stood there watching the blood running through my leg for a few seconds wondering how the heck did that happen.

 

I’m now super careful handling razor blades.  But I’m not going to stop shaving because my thigh is sporting a two-inch cut.  And when the time comes, even though I’m pretty much terrified of love, loving and being loved;  I’ll make my best effort to not sabotage myself.

 

I owe me that much.

 

I’m working on it

So work.

Work!

 

It’s been… quite good actually.  Well, lets keep this as sincere as always;  it’s been way better than I expected.  I just don’t want to run around singing my victory because we all know as soon as that’s done some crap could fall from the sky and screw everything.  Plus I still have so much to live and learn, it would just be stupid.  But, a definite ‘good enough‘ is necessary.  I was a bit nervous about the people and the vibe of the area, but so far, I don’t feel like I need to run for my life.

My duties are very manageable.  I am specially loving the fact that, as in my previous job, I can basically, to a certain extent, manage my own schedule during the shift.  That was one of my favorite things before because it makes work a bit more dynamic and comfortable.

 

It’s been really strange among us, ex-coworkers, because now everyone is doing something different and we miss each other.  Some days are full of calls with lots of “I miss you more! No, I miss YOU more!  Hugs!  Kisses!  Take care!  I mean it, don’t be all crazy without me!  And share your funny things on facebook!  Send me a picture whenever you wear the green polo shirt!  Don’t eat anything delicious without us!  I MISS YOU SO MUCH!”  

 

And I must be really nostalgic because whatever anyone else is doing sounds more fun than what I’m doing.  Everyone sounds very accomplished and satisfied and I’m half terrified about everything.   At least this second week has given me a little more inner strength that I can do this.

 

It’ll be ok.

Through music

One of the things I miss most about work is music.

We were officially not allowed to play music inside the lab, because all equipment had to be properly sanitized before entering the lab.  We found a way around this by sanitizing speakers (some didn’t survive, but it was worth trying) and supervisors knew how much our mood improved when we were allowed to listen to our favorite bands so they overlooked it.

Music for us was much more than sharing the lyrics of our favorite songs and making awesome arrangements of the classics, it was more than beginning our work shift with the designated Hymn of the Week (I think the ones that ran the longest were Viva la Vida and Don’t Stop Believing).

There was a time when the only iPod in the labs was mine.  But everyone wanted to listen to the music while we worked (and sing, and dance) and I wanted everyone to be able to listen to some of the music they preferred so, I asked my coworkers to lend me some CD’s they liked so I could put them in my music library and we could all hear them together.

I remember copying five to ten CD’s daily, I didn’t even had time to look at what I was uploading to my library.  Some of them were collections that I bought to have the best of some genres.  And that was my favorite part.  For the next two years I would put the iPod in shuffle and some days a song would come up that I didn’t knew I had.  Most of the times it would be an awesome song that I loved (Hopelessly Devoted to You, Funky Town, It’s in His Kiss…) and I would fist pump the air, do my happy dance and then check were the song was so I could find it later.  Sometimes, not many, fortunately, it would be a song that I hated (the entire Javier Pastrana CD, With Arms Wide Open…) and then it was a serious matter to come back home and immediately obliviate it.

More often than not we all liked what came up on the iPod.  And then we would have those moments when, without looking at each other, we would drop everything we were doing, close our eyes and start singing along the songs all together.  I can almost see us, standing up and dancing in our bunny suits.

In those moments our friendship grew, through music.

These days I’m gonna have to settle for an iPod dock here.  I want to sing Mammy Blue on Saturday mornings again.

My Reflection on Growing Up Female

I finished reading Becoming Myself, Reflections of Growing Up Female.  It’s a collection of essays written by all kinds of women;  J.K. Rowling, Maya Angelou, Kate Winslet (who I personally believe rescues the whole book), Meryl Streep and others.

This is my reflection about growing up female.

Narami is a Puerto Rican, thirty one year old woman.  She grew up in front of the beach, majored in Biology and worked six years as a laboratory technician for one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in Puerto Rico.  She has dipped her feet into acting whenever possible, participating in projects in theater and film.  She also lists singing and dancing as skills on her resumé, though we don’t know by what credentials.  These days you can find her bookbinding, taking pictures, and planning her next adventures in the silence of her bedroom.  

When I was a little girl, about seven, one of my mother’s friends from her youth was our neighbor.

She had a son my age, lets call him Chris, and whenever she could she would shove us together, no doubt waiting for us to be the bestest friends forever.  She loved to brag about all the perfect things her son could do.  He was a swimming champion, he had the best grades ever, he was beautiful and bright and one day he would become a prince and live happily ever after.   I found it confusing and interesting that she made me feel like I had potential.  For what, I have no idea, but she liked to motivate me by the means of competition with Chris.

I had fun playing with him, though.  We played catch, someone had a scooter we rode all the time, I rode down the hill faster than him in a bicycle, but he was faster running.

One beautiful, bright day our families were heading to the beach, which is a short walk from our homes, and he was asking me questions, I think.  But I can only remember one: “what’s your favorite color?

Something happened when he asked me that question.   My favorite color was sky blue, but I vividly remember feeling that was the wrong answer.  Girls are suppose to like pink, I thought.  I couldn’t tell Chris the wrong answer!  So I scrunched up my nose and said “pink“.   I didn’t had back then the bone I have now for honesty.

And so it happened.

Chris rolled his eyes so far back I thought he would loose them inside his head.  “What?!” I asked, in total confusion because I knew I had said the right thing.  “ALL GIRLS like pink.”  He spat, in his most disgusted tone.

I learned a very important lesson that day.  Sometimes it’s very hard to be a girl.  If I had said sky blue, he would have looked at me like I was an alien, because girls are not suppose to like blue.  I know because I immediately tried to fix my mistake and told him that I also liked sky blue.  Saying pink made me boring, because every other girl liked pink.   Sometimes there’s no winning ground.

I remember this event often.   Whenever someone takes out the girl card.  “You park your car just like a girl.”   “That was so girly of you.”  “Oh, don’t be such a girl.”

Um.  But, I AM a girl.

I realized in that moment that by Chris’s standards I was different.  And thirty one years later I can confirm his suspicions.  If Chris asked me today what my favorite color is, I would make him specify;  my favorite color for what?  Because I love when the sky is painted with twilight, I like fushia’s for my lips, I love to wear black, I like turquoise jewelry, grey accessories, white furniture, orange walls, and so on.

That day I had a tiny realization of what it is to be myself.

What I would say, all this life later is;  I am different.  And I am female.  And I can be everything.

PD   Chris never turned into a prince.  He is just a guy that works in a bank.  Last time he was here I beat him playing pool.  His mother watched.

Never Say Never: Or my Bieber Fever finally explained

Well.  I’ve gone and done it.  I went to watch Never Say Never 3D.  As in, Justin Bieber’s movie.

 

You can stop reading this here if you can’t bear to see anything else related to Justin Bieber and I will understand because that boy is everywhere.  But if you keep reading you’ll finally know why the heck do I even bother with that boy, something that even I couldn’t answer to myself satisfactorily before yesterday.

 

You see, Hiker commented here that he was “disturbed by my Bieber love” and I tried my best to explain my Bieber fever like so:

 

“My Bieber love! Well, I’m a sucker for naturals and that boy was born with a musicality that I just find amazing. I guess because I love music so much; for example he self taught himself how to play four instruments, I admire that and I’m amazed that he just has it in him. And then he donates proceeds from all his projects to children causes and you’d have to be soul-less to not smile about that.  That’s two concrete, valid reasons.  Also, he is sort of a little ball of cuteness. (And I say that in the most motherly way possible.)”

 

That is all true and valid, it holds up perfectly and all, but it just made me think a bit further, WHY is it that I like this boy?  This super mainstream sensation who’s face is everywhere and, normally I would avoid like the plague?

And yesterday I went to watch Never Say Never 3D with a brand new pack of Kleenex because I knew the fiber would be touched.  The one where that boy makes other kids happy and his family can see him singing in the Madison Square Garden after he sold it in a couple of hours when everyone said he couldn’t,  I cry for these things.

So, at one point LA Reid is talking about the first time he met Justin, what got his attention, and I was illuminated by his response.  He said that “when Justin went in the studio he sucked up all the air in the room.  And then he sang really well.  But it was more than that, it was his face, his hair and he was brave…” BAM.  There it was, the answer to my fascination, it took LA Reid to hit the nail in the head.

 

Justin Bieber has a blazing look about him that screams courage.   You’ll see it in every interview, every skit, every performance;  he dares.

 

That’s what attracted me.  A fourteen year old boy and his mom leaving everything behind (home, family, everything that was secure and factual) to pursue a possibility.  It could’ve gone very wrong, they could’ve lost everything, but that boy worked harder than most adults have in their whole lives and he didn’t gave up, and he made it.   For him, for his family and for all the people that believed in him, he made it big.

The rest of Justin’s story is obvious and it’s not my point.  It turned out two girls behind me knew every single word to every song played in the movie, and they screamed their lungs out whenever he was shirtless.  I smiled whenever I heard them, because I was a teenager and I understand why they screamed, I remember.  I just wish they could also understand just as well what I only got so clearly yesterday;  courage takes you places.

 

And even though it might be the cheesiest thing I ever write, my point is, never say never.