Excuses. . . Excuses. . .


While I suffered my near seven-year writer’s block some things happened that may have shaped me into the person that I am today. Seriously, though, who am I kidding, everything I’ve done in my life has shaped me into the person that I am today. Regardless, I published my last book in 2013.

I know I’ve titled this Excuses, but really this is just a glimpse into what has been going on during the past few years.

Early on, during this time, I suffered a tremendous loss when my brother committed suicide. I haven’t been able to talk about it much, and I may elaborate on it at a later date, but he was twenty-two, and too young to die. He suffered from mental illness and experienced some early traumas that shaped his journey. Losing someone to suicide is the most jarring experience that anyone can experience.

In the three years that directly followed, my family experienced three other separate traumas. I don’t know if I will ever be able to share what happened then. I was in survival mode.

I had decided to pursue my degree. Unfortunately, because I also acquired a full-time job, I also had to pursue it at a slower pace. I love learning. As a teenager, I was a poor student. I lacked confidence in myself. I didn’t have a strong support system in high school, but in University, I flourished. I even had a 3.8 GPA. it felt unreal!

Unfortunately, worrying about my family, working full time, and returning to school left little bandwidth for writing creativity.

I was creative in other ways though. I planned my daughter’s quiñcenara, which was a mad hatter tea party theme. I planned bulletin boards at my job, and contests for small social media campaigns to spread awareness about my department. I fell in love with photography. I drew. I felt truly inspired at times.

When I sat down to write, however, I either stared at a blank page or wrote rubbish.

During this time, I read a lot, mostly for school, but I still read.

Then, my grandmother got really sick. My sister had been helping her, but I also wanted to carry some of that responsibility when it came to it. I knew with my family, it would be hard to get away. El Senor and I decided to build a home that would accommodate my grandma if needed. While we built, we sold our home fast. We moved in with my grandmother temporarily. Then a month before we closed on the house, my grandmother took a nasty fall and hit her head. After her hospital stay and rehab, my sister and I decided that she should come home to my house. Together, we shared her caregiving. She passed two weeks ago. We were a united team during her last year of life. It made it easier to deal with all of the hardship. I got to share some really meaningful moments with my grandmother over the past two years.

*As a side note, I’m not sure many men would undertake the journey we just traveled. My husband was amazing. He supported me. He was neglected by me, while I cared for my grandmother. He helped me in any way that he could. His heart is so beautiful. *

That’s it for now,

Be amazing.

. . . On Grief

I lost my grandma this week. That is such a simple statement that is full of complexed meanings and deep emotions. I did more than lose her.

She passed away. She passed beyond. It’s more than just away, it’s an abyss of foreverness that separates us.

She’s in a better place. A better place where there is no tears and no sorrow. She served her entire life and deserves to be in a joyful, better place. Knowing that doesn’t chase away the pain I feel in my chest from her loss. I feel lost.

She was her hardest critic often questioning her own heart, but her heart was so big, giving and loving. She also loved hard, and she expected love in return.

My sister and I care gave for her this past year. My sister helped her longer, with other things while she lived on her own, but my grandmother raised us. She took us in when my parents couldn’t or wouldn’t take care of us.

It was the least that we could do, but it was so little that we did. I hope she felt the love in her last hours and knew that we were there.

In my heart, I feel like she did, even as she took her last breath.

We will honor her this coming weekend. This weekend feels so far away, but it also feels like it’s coming too fast all at once like I need to breathe for a minute yet I can’t catch my breath.

This grief is ripping apart my insides; it’s raw and gritty. And I wonder if it will ever go away.  I know that it won’t go away. It will just fade until something reminds me of her, or one of my senses betray me and remind me of her.

Hello Old Friend

I’m writing again. After six years, of staring at blank pages, or correction, starting and stopping snippets, only to do the equivalent of ripping a page out of a notebook, crumpling it, and tossing in the wastebasket, which is to close the document without saving it, I’m writing. It’s not nearly as satisfying as angrily fisting a piece of paper if I’m being honest, but “save the planet” and stuff, right? Regardless, I’m plotting again, and planning, and doing the things that I did when I wrote for eight hours a day. I miss those days of just typing as fast as I could and losing hours while I created a world in which a geeky clumsy girl could fall in love with a brooding dark-haired boy who played guitar. Writing is my escape, much like reading and bingeing series on Netflix is.

(Gawd, if only I could get paid to watch Netflix.– Or even paid by Netflix for writing, Like seriously: Nextflix, The Butterfly Chronicles could be your next huge hit. Hit me up. For real!)

But the point is, I’m doing it; I’m writing. I still don’t have my degree, yet, which was a significant reason why I stopped writing. It was something that I felt insecure about with my writing. But life, as they say, has a way of happening. What they don’t say is it has a way of knocking you on your ass and pushing you off of a cliff, so you find yourself tumbling down a hill which hits your head every few rotations of the tumble, only to have a tree that loosened from your fall land on top of you. Yep, that about explains my past five years it in a nutshell. Maybe my next project will be non-fiction about my recent life journey. Regardless, I have decided I can’t live my life out of fear of rejection, even though that terrifies me. I can’t live in this weird place of worrying about what others think and worrying that the completion of my series will not be perfect.

But here’s the thing; I think I just figured out my big twist, and if I do it right, it will be PERFECT. So I’m re-vamping my playlist for Chasing butterflies, cracking my knuckles,

And. . . Here we go.

Just Write

Just.

Write.

Just write; just write.

JUST WRITE.

Why is it so hard for you to put on paper what you feel?

Express your emotions, Close your eyes, and write what you see.

I see.

I see darkness.

I hear nothing.

Blackness engulfs my soul, turning my thoughts into tar, and nothingness.

Creativity greys and disappears into the rainbow of darkened hues.

Just write

 Words,

Flowing words,

Descriptive words.

Why do you escape me, playing hide and seek?

But you are forgetting the seek part. Wait, that’s my job.

I speak just fine; I could speak all day long,

But when the time comes to write, my speech, too, is gone.

 Just write.

Describe a scene, a dream from last night.

Explain details of how everything made sense then.

But now, it’s gibberish.

I was creative last night, dreaming in vibrant colors,

Writing lyrics that made my heart cry, and I awoke with tears in my eyes.

But now those words are gone.

 Just write.

Use your frustrations, create a skeleton.

Build the veins, and meat off of that.

It’s easy to command, to teach and tell,

Execution determines if writing is what you do well.

Do I execute well? All I can do is: Just write.

Miles

Miles Meme

Forty days and forty nights I wandered with no end in sight.

Desert, desolate, alone with only my thoughts.

I mourned your loss even though, you never left.

Miles spanned the inches that separated us.

Miles of dried sandy dust.

They say: A day per month, or is it a month per tear?

My salty rain became my oasis.

I wonder if my wandering is all I will have to show, to fear.

Traveling a million miles but seeing no real places.

Miles of longing, wasting, and lusting.

There are too many miles.

I’ve been 29 for 6 years

When I was twenty three, I married El Senor. I also had Baby Gurl eight months later. Due to complications she came five weeks early. I’m not really sure why, but over the next few years, I could not remember how old I was. I broke my ankle when I was twenty five. At the immediate care, (That’s a story for another day, maybe a venting day) the nurse asked me how old I was, I said twenty three. El Senor looked at me and said, “No you’re not!” I swore I was, then did the math and sure enough, twenty five.

I have a birthday coming up. I’ll admit, I’m not looking forward to it. I make the joke when people I barely know are rude enough to ask how old I am, I’ll say, “I’m twenty nine. . . And I’ve been twenty nine for six years.” They laugh and I cringe. Why do we rush the years when we are younger dreaming of the day we will be the grown up, and then once the day arrives, we dread it and want to turn back time.  It’s because even though childhood is fun, it’s not freedom. Adult hood is freedom, but with responsibilities. I think we really spend much of our time wishing for another time, when what we really should do is just be. Be in that moment. I should enjoy my few gray hairs, it’s not like they are going to go away, in fact they are going to grow friends. I should appreciate my few smile lines. After all I’ve earned them from having a life of laughter and happiness. And those “Frown lines” aren’t frown lines at all, but rather concentration lines.

That being said, I wouldn’t trade this past year for a hundred years as twenty nine. I’ve grown in so many ways that I didn’t believe was possible. I’ve received clarity, and am finding my way. With growing and clarity comes the aches and pains associated with such change. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, and that’s OK. I do know more changes are on the horizon. I look forward to 2014.

You Hate My Cross (a poem)

I know you hate my cross but I love it.
You hate everything that it represents.
All the times you wrapped it around the rear view mirror,
I’d roll my eyes while you demanded you needed to see clearer.

It’s just a little bit of wood metal and a rope.
But it reminds me of a time when I had little hope.
That was before you and the kids and our beautiful life.
Before I ever thought someone would make me their wife.

I got it with the metro and kept it in the impala,
Now the impala’s gone, I was scared you left it on purpose.
It was back in 98 when I needed to escape away from him.
Bad breakups are called bad for a reason.

In a small mexican town that was built into a hill,
With a crystal clear brook cut between the trail,
I went through a church carved out of the stone,
Into a cave I felt so alone.

Before I could ask the Virgin Mary to help me understand,
A nun shoved a cross on a rope into my hand.
She chastised me in Spanish and I just looked at her blankly,
Knowing that God would understand her as easily as he would understand me.

That crucifix kept me safe till the day I met you.
And it kept a us safe together every day since it’s true.
Because God has watched over us even when we haven’t looked out for him.
Even when we didn’t look out for ourselves and what separates us from him.

So the next time you finger my ugly brown cross, before you roll your eyes,
Remember that this is a part of who I am, raw, uncut with a few good tries.
When we put it in the next car remember all it represents.

The road I took that led me to you.
The hope, love and trust that I believed were true.
I know you hate my cross but I love it.
I love everything it represents.

This entry was posted in Poetry.

In Passing (A Poem)

In Passing.

Lying in bed, pretending to sleep,

So I can hear the rhythm of your heartbeat.

Driving on a dark road with my hand wrapped in yours,

Just so I can feel you close.

Touching your hair, tracing your face,

Memorizing everything there is about you,

In passing.

These are the simple things I hold on to.

These are the moments I need

To get me through the coming days.

Remembering where we sometimes are,

In passing.

Laughing while you cook and I wash the dishes,

Flirting with brushed touches and gentle jabs.

Slow dancing in the living room when no one is looking,

Sneaking pecks of kisses in between the turns.

Looking into your smiling eyes, feeling content.

But it only stays long enough to remind me,

It’s in passing.

Observations

An eighteen hour drivers probably too much time to spend inside my brain. As I drove while my family slept and listened as my children talked when El Señor drove I made a few silent observations that made me both smile and sigh contently. This post may be more for myself later to look back on as I’m bundled up on a cold Indiana winter day, when I miss summer, my kids because they’re in school, or whatever irritations winter brings because there are plenty.
I digress. Here are my vacation observations. They may not mean as much to you but hopefully you’ll laugh too.

1. I don’t understand why Tennessee welcomes you to it as your heading south on 24 and have been in the state for two hours. I mean I get it if you go out of the state for a few miles and come back in but where is the welcome sign at the Kentucky/Tennessee border. That’s the accomplishment. That’s when it matters when you’re like am I in in Kentucky or Tennessee? In the middle of the night state lines are accomplishments.

2. Don’t beat yourself up when you realize five hundred miles in that you forgot something even if it’s important. I forgot my protein shakes, workout mix drink, and soap. But I remembered UNDERWEAR. Hooray for me! I’m on vacation. Besides I’m sure they’ll have a vitamin shop somewhere near me.

3. I should have confiscated his the kazoo.

4. Lilman: Does it ALWAYS rain in Florida?
Me: five minutes at a time, yes it does.

5. The highway is full of migraters. And people will pack their cars up every which way. There’s the tarped luggageon the roof rack, which was our method last year. Trash bag covered, gimpy hard covers and perfectly packed travelers. I say get yours however you can. And make it count.

6. I love watching my little ones be kind to each other. They don’t have the distractions of other friends and Internet. So they talk and hug on each other. It might be my favorite.

7. That damn kazoo!

8. The farthest plate I’ve seen is Arizona. El señor: Ontario.

9. I still don’t mind driving through the mountains. I still mind driving through Atlanta.

10. Me: I’m hongrier than. A hostage.
Lilman: how do you know how much an ostrich can eat?
Kids are funniest when they don’t intend to be and when you least suspect it.
11. Faded Mohawk-mullets are popular in Florida this season.
I don’t get it.
12. Sometimes a salt-water pool is better than the ocean.