Turning the Tables: Recognizing My Limitations

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As I lay down to sleep last night, all I could remember was the looks on my sisters’ faces:  a look of worry and concern, not for me, per se.  I was beyond tired and burned out and we had all had a very stressful day … the girls were concerned that I was so angry at my mother and were concerned for both my sanity and her safety.

You better know that this was a wake-up call for me.  I’m sure others who care for their parents have reached the point of walking into the wall head-first, where you are doing all that you can do and then you have to do more!    Although I never want to think that I’m capable of anything sinister toward my parents, I had to recognize a very hard fact:  sometimes, you can only do what you can do…no matter how bad one wants to be superwoman and do anything and everything for Mom and Dad.

It’s very hard to realize that, on some rare occasions, that someone else will have to take over for you.  Tears and a drive were the only way for me to get my frustration out about having to accept help from time to time.

As I drove by the hospital where I was born, it made me think back to when I was born, born prematurely and weighing 2 pounds and 5 ounces…my mother had no choice but to leave me in the hospital and accept help during my first days of life.   Maybe she even got frustrated with me too for not being able to take me home for 3 whole months when normal parents got to walk out with their new babies.

After a few hours of sleep, I had to wake up with Mama and get her ready for an early treatment — both she and I were much calmer and she said the four words which serve to keep me and my badass attitude in check and motivates me to work it for her:  “Thank you, love you”.  And with those four words, she becomes what I most need and want:  Mama.

No matter how crazy days, weeks, months, and years get as you care for your parents:  know that asking for and accepting help works wonders and will always bring positive vibes to your relationship.

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Mexican Courier Service Picks Best Name Ever

Love it – mi raza working it always – Carmen 🙂

Mi blog es tu blog

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In an era dominated by iPods, iPads, iPhones, iTunes and iMacs… how else were you going to call your Mexico City-based budding courier service, offering speedy deliveries nationwide

This is Mexican ingenuity at its best.

iCaramba!

Photo and h/t: Enrique Bustamante, Mexico City

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Zaz! Walking Into the Wall. A Day of YES or A Day of NO?

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Recovering from a traumatic, emotional and complicated situation can run smooth some days, and, other days, you are going along living your life, even feeling hopeful, and then ZAZ! Something crazy happens and you are back to square one.

I had so much stolen from me during 2012:   peace of mind, confidence, money, personal items, my sanity, productivity, home, career(s), and dignity to name a few.  I spent the majority of this time on auto-pilot, just trying to make it through the day, while, one by one, these things were ripped off from me.

When I was able to start assimilating all that had happened to me, I straight-up went crazy with anger, fear, shame and sadness hitting me at once.   Somehow, someway, Inner Chingona made her appearance and I was able to have the nerve to do what I had to do to salvage what I could of my life and my career.

So today, I walked into the wall:  my credit/atm card was compromised, with a man completely emptying out my account and every penny I have.  You better know I was enraged and in tears!   This was, most def, ANOTHER test that I would have to endure.

After I calmed down and found enough spare change in the car to get me home, called the police, the DA, the bank, the stores where this hijodelachingada spent my hard-earned money, I sat for hours trying to get my hands around my thoughts.

Here’s what I discovered:  Yes, being robbed angers and aggravates me.  Yes, I have a right to be angry.  Yes, I got myself together so that I could deal with the bank and the authorities.   Yes, I had my back.  Yes, I stood up for myself.  Yes, I’m still alive.  Yes, I’m DONE acting like a victim.  Yes, I can sleep at night.  Yes, I will overcome this disappointment.     Yes, my spirit of ‘aventada-ness’ is coming back.  Yes, my ‘mevalemadre’ attitude is right there!   And, more important, NO, Mr. LadronThief, you do not win this time.

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Broken Hearts: Live Without You? Watch Me.

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Broken Hearts. We’ve all been there at one time or another.

Earlier today as I was watching and listening to a very sweet young person go through the first hours of a broken heart made me sad for their loss, mad at the person who dared to go there and stomp on this person’s sincere feelings, glad and hopeful as I witnessed a person who was wise beyond their years — instinctively knowing that “if #%^ doesn’t want to be with me, then #%^ needs to be without me”.

I wish I would have taken my first broken heart that well when I was 22: my Comadre and Lisa are witnesses to the fact that I was certain that I would not survive to see another day, that I felt like I was dying. Thinking back, that first broken heart was a big reality slap that motivated me to continue my studies, gave me more time to concentrate on the many events I was always planning, and I eventually accepted what I somehow always knew in my heart:   this person was not for me.

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As I got older, the broken hearts still hurt and, as they tend to be more complicated, it takes a little longer to bounce back. Songs take on more meaning … as one tends to listen to every word, que no?   Quotes also jump out at you … emotional ones, angry ones, sad ones, sarcastic ones…

Take it from me, you WILL be sad, you will cry, you will get mad and you WILL survive, move on, and become stronger!  Para que se le quite…

Some random quotes meant to make you smile and get your power back as your Inner Chingona works thru your broken heart…in no particular order…

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The Power of Having my Own Back

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I was at my class yesterday evening where we were discussing the importance of taking care of yourself FIRST. Ya’ll know how hard that this can be and, depending on how overwhelmed you feel, you can be in class thinking, ‘yeah whatever, sounds good but you don’t know my life’ as things can sound like one big cliché.

And then there are those moments where the lessons and words hit you right in the face dripping with truth! This happened to me yesterday as I began to talk about this experience or other … the details aren’t so much important as is the fact that I “got it” and I could feel my piece of the world move a little.

What did I “get”? The absolute powerful feeling that I, for the first time in a very long time, put myself FIRST and either stood up for myself and/or took personal responsibility for some pendejada or another.

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It is so liberating to recognize that there are certain things that make me ‘right’, that I need and want for myself … and these things cost little or nothing: I finally made it a huge priority to take time to WRITE. I used to always try to push it aside, that it was a hobby, that it wasn’t really that big of a thing to block out time to do. Fast forward to now…at some point during each and every day, I go somewhere where the AC is blasting, put on the headphones, find some good music and write something every day…ya’ll may not see it right away as, many times, it’s in bits and pieces.

I’ve also decided that I will try to live with as little drama as possible — that’s a 24/7 job LOL but I found that, once I stood up for myself on a personal level, that life has become easier.

Take tonight for example. After a long and difficult day at work, I get to the Ranch to make dinner for my parents. My fam will tell you that, some days, I get there and I’m all stressed out and don’t know exactly what I want, but I don’t want to be there doing anything.

Well, after my breakthrough at class yesterday. It was over 100 degrees on the drive home, but I decided to 1) let Mom know that, hell yes, it’s hot and while I’m tired, I want to do dinner for them and then I’m off to study/write. JUST saying it like that started the evening off on a positive and totally took any rage/anger/frustration I might have felt down a bunch of notches. Why?

Because I HAD MY OWN BACK. I love making sure my folks are taken care of, and, while I’m no chef, I love cooking for them versus fast-fooding it. Plus, they love it when I cook and my Dad sometimes tells me, “mija this is better than Denny’s” LOL. So I can make sure to do what I need to do and still do what I want to do.

It used to be so hard for me to even think that what I needed for myself was worth anything much less saying what I needed. Instead of stomping around all ‘enojada’ and being miserable and letting my frustration eat away at me, how cool was it to be “aventada”, stand up for myself, and put some power into my feelings and vocalize them. Also very significant: I was able to claim my power WITHOUT taking my parent’s power or spirit away.

Having your own back also means that it’s important to take time out to know what you want in your life so that you CAN support your needs and goals … instead of always putting others first. So many of us take care of others…and many times we don’t take care of ourselves…that’s how pendejadas and stupid decisions are made!

Taking care of yourself will make it easier for you to be there for others…and it will make you easier to be around.

Love it! Inner Chingona is working it!

Turning the Tables: OMG

Gotta love our ‘jefitos’! TURNING THE TABLES entries to my blog are fun stories about our experiences with and caring for our parents. Not only am I blessed to have both my parents around, I’m also blessed to have other members of the ‘old skool’ around to enjoy. When I heard my friend Rebecca tell me this story, you better know that I begged her to let me share it!

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Rebecca decided to upgrade the familia’s cell phones … among those receiving a new phone was Rebecca’s mama Anita. Hope I remember the story correctly … basically, Anita tells Rebecca that, no, she will not be texting anyone, that she does not need to text. Well, with new phone in hand, Anita starts texting and sending pictures to Rebecca…aaaand, la que no iba textear/the one who would not text, responds to Rebecca’s text with the following…”OMG”

OMG! (Oh my God in text language) Isn’t it amazing how quickly we can become accustomed to social media? I love it! Love this pic of Anita taken in Santa Barbara a few days ago…

Now if I could only get my Mom and Dad to embrace ‘text-ology’ LOL

Another Birthday…Another Blessing

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As I’ve mentioned before, my Dad and I don’t mind celebrating birthdays so much…we just don’t like that getting older thing! I tend to use my birthday as the time to get back on track with what I need to do, what I’ve done, or haven’t done, and how I envision finishing up the remainder of 2013.

My first meetings in the morning were all about taking inventory and I had to smile … that was exactly where my head was at … taking stock of all of the drama from 2012 and how it, not only affected me, but changed me forever.

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Sent pink and red roses to my parents and thanked them for “me”. Mike and Margaret Torres have always been in my corner my entire life. This is a HUGE blessing.

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After what I had gone thru in 2012, I know that I am a different woman. The passage above says it all. Ready to ‘keep on keeping on’, ready to study like a madwoman for the next month in advance of my State Interpreter Exam, ready to work hard producing my first solo event, ready to be the best at my job, ready to enjoy spending time with familia and friends, ready to lose some more of this lonja by walking and working out, ready to remain positive, rid myself of negative situations and people and continue to count my blessings!

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However, I am NEVER ready to see those ‘canas’ grey hairs on my head LOL so bring on my box of natural color!

Kindred Spirits or ‘Copionas’ Copy Cats?

LG is the youngest…I’m the oldest.   I can say that, many times, our relationship was complete ‘big sister, little sister’ and this big sis had little or no time for anything but her projects and things.  Yet Kiki, being the middle sis, always had to be the referee because LG and I were always ‘alegando’…Kiks would always tell us both “you shut up. and you shut up!” and remind us of just how alike we both were.   

I still don’t always see how much alike we are but then we do something like this…

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This morning, I walked out to my Jeep for my makeup bag and, as I’m coming back inside the house, LG tells me, “wait, I have to show you something…” Girl breaks out the same exact clear makeup bag that I have – down to leaving the price tag on it LOL! This isn’t the first time we’ve had the same exact accessory, without the other knowing about it, and/or liked the same songs or clothes, etc. I could sit here and, think that I’m all that, and say that LG wants to be just like me but it’s so much the opposite — I’m always trying to be as cool and “in” as my little Sis is! We just laughed when we saw the identical bags before I ran for my camera!

Working My Way Back: Am I Brave or Pendeja?

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Said ‘yes’ to doing a favor for a good friend today. This favor required me to go very very near a place that I had “forbidden” myself to enter … after all that had happened to me in the past year, I didn’t really want to have to be in a place where I’d have to relive things all over again.

However, instead of being a bad thing, it was very liberating! Reminded me that I should not and will not avoid the places and people whom I love just because I am “supposed to not go there”. Yes, certain situations were unpleasant, certain stupid decisions were made, sure I was “pendeja” a time or two (or three or four or five)! It’s all about keeping things in perspective though…because before the bad stuff came down, there was a lot of good too.

My friend was genuinely happy to see me and vice-versa…we got to reconnect while I helped her out…but doing this favor allowed me to so something more important: to realize that, I can go anywhere I want, anytime I want–within reason, of course. That it is very brave to allow oneself to heal, and very brave to take those first few shaky steps into a familiar place where, although you know your way around, you are unsure of what is right around the corner – a ‘known’ unknown if you will.

It’s a great feeling to know that my sense of “aventada-ness” is most def coming back strong, it’s great to find the confidence to get my ish together, to feel the power of working myself back, to feel brave. I need to keep listening to my Inner Chingona, work it and to recognize that this will forever be my challenge: to recognize that it is a very thin line between being brave and being pendeja/stupid.

Live your life and don’t forget to have your own back!

Will it be ‘No, ni madres’ or will it be ‘No’?

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Last week, I was in my class learning about making,and more important, having others respect your boundaries. That, many times, we, especially Latinas, tend to let people walk all over us in certain situations: our men: we are always trying to ‘take care of him’, sometimes we do more for him than we do for ourselves; our children: we want them to like us and we want to be cool; our supervisors: we want very much to be known as women who are down, who will do whatever is needed to make it happen at work; our familia/siblings: we don’t want to be called out for not being there for our parents, to lend money, whatever…part of making a boundary is saying ‘NO’ to your man when you don’t feel like doing this or that; to your kids when they ask you for money for the thousandth time; to overtime when you have other things going on, etc., etc., etc.

In class, we were practicing saying ‘no’ with quiet confidence, without an explanation; no ‘I’m sorry’; no “but”, no “ni madres”, nada. Very difficult as it is in our nature to try to help others before we help ourselves yet very effective: as a confident ‘no’ has little emotion tied to it thus it’s easier for one’s boundary to be respected by others. The goal is to learn how to say ‘no’ with confidence so you can keep your power without breaking someone’s spirit or taking their power.

So here I am in class, taking it all in and, thinking I’m all that, I did well in the role-playing portion of the session, said my ‘no’ without guilt, fear, or nerves.

Class done, I then head to the gasolinera and, sure enough, someone comes up to ask me for money. What is the first thing I do? I hear myself say…’oh I’m really sorry but…’ instead of saying ‘no’ like I had just learned and practiced not 10 minutes before! My ‘no’ was far from confident to say the least. Guess I still have a ways to go and, apparently, I’m not all that! There was nothing to do but laugh … and realize that it’s all about practice, practice, and more practice saying “no” without saying “no, ni madres!”

Setting a positive boundary can make you feel empowered.