It’s funny, I’ve been on my own for years, had my own place, paid my own bills, did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, slept all day if I wanted to, be gone for days from my place as long as I wanted to, cleaned it, didn’t clean it, walked around in my bra and ‘chones‘, walked around completely nude, cooked one meal and ate out of the pan or used a tortilla to eat out of the pan, same meal, all day long LOL It took me a long time to feel comfortable living alone, I had always had roommates, ten roommates total throughout the years. I was nervous at first about living alone and then that was it – I loved it.
I never thought that I would move back home again – ever. I have always been one to sleep in my own bed or, at the very least; I always carry my own pillow and blanket EVERYWHERE. No matter where I stayed, even when I’d come back home, I always had my sleeping materials covered. My family has always compared me to Linus, the character on Charlie Brown, who always carries a blanket. Yet, here I sit in my pajamas and bathrobe, at 8:00 at night, on a day where I have not changed out of my pj’s, gone nowhere, and alternated from Mama’s chair to the couch to my bed in the “girls room”, on what has been my most relaxing day of the year.
Flash back to a couple of years ago, I came over on “my night”, you see, we 5 Torres siblings decided to divide up the week to help care for our parents, and on this night, I could not make myself leave. My mother, who had been ill for some time and who was undergoing dialysis treatments, was getting weaker. What hurt me most was not the physical weakness, what broke my heart was the sense that Mama was getting tired of it all. I thought to myself, I want to make her days/nights easier. My nights were spent waking up once or twice to check on Mama and on Dad; I could never manage to sleep through the night. I didn’t have much time to miss my life and my bed. I think that, during that entire time, I slept in my bed two or three times. When Mama passed away, we were all so grateful that she was not in pain or distress that she went peacefully. As a family, we were all completely exhausted, we had all spent the last couple of months completely at Mama’s side 24/7.
Fast forward to now, our house is so different now, there are many full-house nights, we host many more family events here at the house than ever before, Dad always has some project he’s working on in or outside of the house, there is music on and this night owl house rarely has lights out. I finally moved my bed and things into the ‘girls room’, which is now my “apartment”, and while I sleep more, I still wake up at least once per night to check on Dad. Trying to keep this house up is no easy task, especially, as Dad tends to leave things wherever he leaves them. I’ve claimed one huge victory by getting Dad to stop throwing paper onto the floor and into the wastebasket LOL.
As Dad and the family would be gone for a few days, I was elated to have my life to myself for a few days in a row! It was if I were going on vacation, what would I do? Where would I go? Who would I see? Or NOT? Well, the first night, I stayed up writing all night and had my music blasting – just like I spent many nights at my place not too long ago. As I was battling the flu, I didn’t really do anything but move all of my blankets to the living room couch and spent the next day and night moving to and from the couch and chair, sleeping, watching what I like to watch: msnbc, Oprah’s channel, chick flicks, and binge-watched TV, puro heaven. With every single nap, every minute spent under the blankets, in my favorite outfit ever, my piyama, watching only the TV I wanted to see, kicking back, I could feel myself getting healed physically, and felt myself coming back together as Carmen, the person, I felt like me, not a daughter or a sister, just me.
It was GREAT to be back on my own, even for a few days. Loved being back to cleaning only once (and the house staying clean), filling up a small trashcan only, using one roll of toilet paper the entire time and the kitchen stove getting a break as well LOL. Well, I wasn’t really completely alone, Mama was all up in the mix from her table and I’ll bet that she, too, appreciated the peace, quiet, no-heater blasting, girl time.
Make time for yourself, have your own back, spend time with YOU, reconnect with your InnerChingona, get your power back, even if it is for a few minutes on a crazy/busy day!