On the other side of the door

On the other side of the door

Click, click, click… The familiar sound of the keys, funny enough, sounds a bit foreign. It has indeed been too long.  I like to feel the smoothness of the keyboard, the sound as I press down on each key begins to feel more comfortable, inviting even… As if they want me to continue typing, writing, sharing…

It seems to be a pattern for me to start my blog by sharing how much I have missed it… If I love it so much, why do I not blog more often?  Quite truthfully, I just don’t make time for it… I started prioritizing my focus on academia. Overall, however, I was prioritizing my focus on Ana. (Yes Ana, I am talking about you… shut up and leave me alone) …  As soon as she notices that I talk about her, her voice fires up and she opens the door to all the dark places in my mind… The beauty of it, nowadays at least, is that I am standing at the opposite side of that door (as opposed to being in there with her, at the edge of that door, wanting to get out but desperately clinging on to her) … On this side, further away from her, I see some light…. I don’t really have the urge to venture past the door (or the urge is not as latent) and lose myself in the deepest corners where she resides… As I sense this new feeling of authority over her, I try to remember how I got here, how did I manage to cross that threshold… To be honest, corny, cliché… I crossed that threshold with love… Love for life, love for my hobbies, love for my time… Love for myself.

It’s odd… It’s difficult to express it… I figured it’d be easier now, now that I can say it out loud… Say it without feeling selfish, ashamed, embarrassed, self-conscious or guilty… And yet, I still feel hesitant to write this…

I look back to when I started my master’s degree… That’s when I started to feel her getting stronger, I couldn’t fight her, I let her win… I thought she would help me… She always seemed like the best and only option… Two years later- sixteen years later, if I’m being honest- I am finally breaking free, we’re in different sides of that door… that premise where she has taken residence and refuses to leave… where she encompasses all my insecurities and holds all my fears and triggers … Though I am further away from her, we are still holding hands… She still calls to me, she still lures me to where she is… I don’t listen as much anymore, I am stronger and better able to keep her where she belongs… Away from my happiness, away from myself…
So what has changed? The answer to that is, again, love… Self-love.  To most people it’s obviously simple, I suppose… For me, however, it has been harsh and complicated to accomplish, to admit and to continue to practice… It turns out, as, in other relationships, self-love is an everyday practice (an everyday battle for me) … As I continue to type, I begin to feel awfully exposed and vulnerable… as if all my nerve endings were exposed… naked and raw…

I used to hate the reflection in the mirror… I’d be disgusted by it… And her voice would start (still does) to attack that reflection, making me hate it even more… It started as a joke really… A “what would happen if I told myself that I love myself” moment… I plucked up what little courage I could manage to approach the mirror (she gets louder the moment she sees that reflection) … after a few failed attempts to get myself to say those words out loud… I was finally able to say them “I love you, I love myself”… The world stopped, that deep dark hole that consumed me-that filled me with an emptiness that became an abyss within myself, where I felt lost, alone and disconnected- finally began to change, to repair itself… I felt complete, I wasn’t empty anymore… I continued to say them out loud… to my reflection, to myself… And I felt every crevice of my soul healing a little… After so many years of self-loathing, self-torture… I am finally able to see myself… I was able to breathe and not feel like I was becoming undone (as how it felt back then, with your absence, when our story ended) … I can breathe in deeply and come back alive…My soul is not empty anymore… And I figured that was it, the end of the drowning darkness where Ana resides, from where she still calls to me… It turned out to be the breaking point of self-discovery…
I still struggle with Ana… It’s hard to say no to her, to not listen to her… overall it is quite difficult to stay on my side of the threshold and keep her at a distance. She can be so tempting and inviting… But it is a beautiful thing to know that I don’t need her, I don’t want her… To know that I want to break apart from her and discover this new journey of self-love and self-acceptance… To embrace the defects, she hates and constantly points out… To be able to look at myself in the mirror and admit that I love myself is such a sweet feeling… And though I have just started, and I am aware of how easy it is for me to fall back. Knowing that she will always be there to catch me, she is always hoping I will go back… a weirdly twisted form of loyalty… As I stand on the other side (scared, excited, hesitantly venturing towards self-discovery and self-love) I smile, take a deep breath and I realize that, indeed, “to be free is very sweet”…

 

Advertisements

Giù con i trattini

 

Non ho mai pensato di avere un “trattino”, ne meno due, e prima di une delle classe che prendo questo semestre, non ho propio pensato su questo concetto come  un concetto di “trattino”.  Finora tan solo pensavo che sono nata equadoregna con ascendenza italiana, sono cresciuta in Ecuador fino alle 16 anni, e nel 2004 i miei parenti ci hanno portati algi Stati Uniti; dico “ci hanno portati” perche i miemi fratelli ed io non volevamo venire a questa terra strana.  Tredici anni dopo, comunque, la terra strana è quella che abbiamo lasciato; non conosco le strade, non riconosco la cità.  Il mio spagnolo è spruzzato con un accento americano, il mio inglese invece con quello equadoregno, e l’italiano lo sto ancora svillupando.  La cosa più strana però, e che oggi non mi sento ne equadoregna, ne americana, e ne meno italiana.  Semplicemente essisto in una realità miscelata di tre culture diverse: equadoregna, americana e italiana; l’ultima però è la più recente.  Non ho proprio una identita nazionale, e le lingue che parlo sono pure “standard”; non ho ne meno il dialetto equadoregno.  Ma se devo pensare a un trattino, direi che ho due trattini, ma poi mi chiedo, perchè trattini? Personalemente penso invece in un concetto di diffusione, dove le tre culture si mischiano ogni tanto, trovando un balance tra di loro, e io mi reinvento.  Comunque sono nata in Ecuador, cresciuta in USA e il mio cuore appartiene all’Italia.

Just before the storm

Once again it has been some time since I let my fingers glide through the key  board with no other intention than to portrait my thoughts…
Hot sip of tea, mint tea, I told myself, to soothe the  nerves that will soon come… as four o’clock slowly approaches… Or well, I think the nerves will come.. I find my self weirdly calm before the first part of a three hour exam… Is it shock, tiredness, under or over preparedness?? Am I at peace?
It’s a feeling similar to when you stand at the sea shore, you feel the sand under your feet, in between your toes as you start to dig them deep into the mushy sand…. As you stand and breathe in the salty air, and you feel how the waves softly break at you ankles as they make their way to shore…You feel the wind playing with your hair, as you take another deep breath of salty-humid-air and far away in the horizon you can see the storm approaching, the wind starts to gain momentum… but the feeling of calming peace just doesn’t go away.. It’s weirdly difficult to explain..

I guess simply put, I just don’t give a fuck… jajaja it is a relieve to say so. Why do I have to worry about an exam that I have been preparing for, for so long?… and yet, far away in the horizon… the fear starts to form.. Maybe the storm is not the three hour exam per se, but rather the fear of that exam…and the consequences, should I not pass the exam… It’d make more sense that way… and yet the calming-peaceful-feeling still remains… I take a deep breathe, not of salty-humid-air… No, unfortunately I am not at the beach, or near to it… I am making time, sitting in one of the cubicles available to the TA’s with in this program.. Another sip of hot-minty-tea… ugh.. hot and a tad bit bitter…One should remove the slice of lemon after a while, particularly if no honey is added..
I look at the time and that storm is only two hours away (be it the nerves, the fear, and the exam it self)… I look at the pile of flash cards that I have and feel a sudden rush of awe.. I have condensed so much information into 3 by 5 flashcards, one must include only the essential… and let the brain do the rest… I trust you neural connections…
As I go through a mental list.. Psychoanalysis , structuralism, deconstruction, reader response, feminist theory, post colonialism.. Such a variety of ways with which people attempt to understand… people and what they create, and the reason why they created it… More tea, definitely better without the slice of lemon… still tongue-burning-hot… One must remember to sip slowly… crap, I’ll probably get blisters…
Unloading the mind is such a relaxing process, how many thoughts do we carry within ourselves… Or at least I do, I think way too much, analyze things for way too long… and soon come to realize that Derrida was right.. No center is anchored within meaning.. it is ever changing… does this mean that Saussure was wrong in saying that the relationship with signs and meaning is arbitrary but constructed anchored units, and unchanging meaning?  I hardly doubt that.. Perhaps both perspectives are individual facets of a multifaceted concept of perception…. And in the end that’s what it really is.. the concept of reality, hyper-real or otherwise (Baudrillard is by far one of my favorites), is just a construction of multifaceted aspects.. Aspects to which we each have limited access to, based on our background and “consciousness derived from the material of our society”… We all try to convey and interpret the discourse surrounding us, and within ourselves… Some aspects of reality are more prominent than others… white elite male perspective and that of the subaltern or the marginalized… Thin threats of thoughts, opinions, concerns, desires (erotic or ambitious)… All just waiting to be interpreted, discussed, assimilated, rejected or accepted… Similar to our human desire to belong, be accepted, understood and at the same time remain different… but not inferior…

Thank you key board…always a pleasure… I have missed you so…

When she gets home

The sun is setting, she must be coming home…  I’m lying on the fluffy white feathered comforter, looking out the window, I enjoy how the shade changes once the sun begins to go down, there’s a subtle shift from clear to dark; hardly noticeable for most people.  I wonder if they pay such meticulous attention to the little shifts that go throughout the day.  Can they see the warmth of the sun light when it’s at its highest?  Or feel the freshness in the shadows when the sun goes down?  I doubt they notice, most people are often lost into their shiny screens.  Another lizard walks on the other side of the window, and I’m pretty sure it just ate something.
Sigh, she’s been gone all day, I wonder if she thinks about me; she left in such a hurry this morning, she hardly said goodbye.  I miss her terribly.

Did I hear that right?  I feel my ears go up, the subtle grumble of tires on pavement.  Is she home??? I hear her steps approaching the door, can she hear me?  Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. I try to open the door.  I must wait for her, my heart starts beating faster, I start to shake, and my tail is going to fly off. Pant. Pant. Pant I hear the keys turning, and the door opens.  Yes!!! It’s her, it’s her.

-Hi buddy!!!- I hear her say, and I can’t contain any more. I launch myself to her, my body trembling with pure joy.  It bubbles up all around me, she holds me and I am home.
Having her with me, hugging me, petting me, holding me, and of course feeding me; what else can a pup ask for?  Blissful-happiness, that heart-warming-feeling of light-plenitude that we find in the little things…

A quick thank you blog

Is it just me, or has being an adult always been difficult?  Over a month ago I turned 29 (I’m still trying to get used to seeing that big number) and one would think that by this age you would have things figured out… Well I definitely do not… I am still learning how to cook, I’m trying to find the balance between house work, school work and having somewhat of a life… Which I end up avoiding regardless (I regret making plans as soon as I agree to, and find myself hoping those plans just don’t go through)…  I have become more a-social than before (didn’t think it was possible jajajaja)…. I rather avoid human contact…My dog and my books have proven to be better company, less judgmental, less disappointing, more genuine … and definitely more logical than some humans… School workload definitely helps with this limited-human-contact-phase I have entered; having returned to do my masters in an area of which I know nothing about was definitely challenging, but I am enjoying the journey…

As a graduate student, with a puny pay check every two weeks is quite difficult to economically cover all expenses… My income is destined to my rent and other bills, and that’s it… Not that I need any material stuff, however, sometimes I can’t even buy groceries.. jajaja  If it weren’t for my parents, I’d be a homeless student… Living in  my car with my dog.. still not being able to feed either of us…
For the past two months my parents have been buying groceries for my brother and I (he is in a similar situation, with minimum wage he barely has enough to pay his bills)…

Thank you to the most selfless, hard working, patient, loving, understanding people I know… Thank you for still supporting me, even when I am at the threshold of being 30, no job, no income.. no way of helping you guys out. Thank you for all the sacrifices you guys make, for even to this day looking out for the offspring that cannot sustain herself.. Thank you for being patient and encouraging… For believing in me, when I really can’t…

Not that my blogging about the amazing parents you guys are will help in any way… But at least it will remain somewhere in the endless cloud of shared-intangible-information that I am gratefully lucky to be your daughter… I hope you are right dad, and that my studying so much will, somewhere in the future, pay off… I hope I will not disappoint you and that, at some point, I will be able to care for you guys the way you have cared (and continue to care) for my siblings and I.

Thank you, gracias, grazie, merci… Words just aren’t enough… And it will never feel like I can do enough to return all the love, kindness, patience, support, advice, teachings… everything that you guys do for us… I love you both so very much.

In her head

Take a deep breath, ignore what goes around… never mind that you’re running late… never mind all the due dates that are approaching and you can’t concentrate to get your things together… never mind the fact that you couldn’t talk to your psychologist… just breath… type, type, type, just type.. the familiar noise is rather soothing…
Once again I fucked up, how cliche is that.. It’s ok to make mistakes… in the end, you just get back up…blah blah blah..
What if you don’t want to get up, what if you are just tired of keeping up appearances, the mask that tells people that everything is ok, that nothing affects you and that you have your shit together…
What if you believe what he tells you and decide to stay negative, because you are a negative person, complicated, demanding…. things you already knew about yourself. You know you’re fucked up..  So why would you have to get up, and try again.. does it matter?  What if you want to believe him and stay negative, demanding and fucked up.. ..

It’s been a difficult past few weeks, I would even dare say it’s been a difficult past few months.. What happens when the magic ends and all you are left with is the empty reality of the same mistake repeated again and again… With additional shit, and new defects that you didn’t know you had.. All of which just add on to the already too large pile of self-loathing reasons you have… Breath… put the mask back on.. and come back to type later… for now, that is all you can do… Exchange the knife, gun, pills… (or any other unoriginal way you can think of ending your life) for the familiar sound of the keys you press…

Maybe that will remove some of the stress, allow you keep calm until your class.. “Remember you are facing a lot of people.. we don’t want people to know, we don’t want people to see us” … I know Ana, I know…