I Have Nothing, Yet I Have Everything

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When I arrived at the grocery cashier to pay for my items.  I had cash, but not enough to pay for the groceries.  I needed like $10 and change that would be charged to my ATM card.    And then, just like that, my ATM card was declined.

Luckily, I ended up having cash in my purse.  That was GodJesusVirgenOfG working it for me.  As I left the store with my groceries, I was calm on the outside.  On the inside, a war was raging.  I was near tears…of embarrassment, anger, frustration.  Oh and I did that feeling sorry for myself thing too.   Whyyyyyy?  Again?  You name it, I thought it.

However, by the time I arrived to the Jeep, my fit was over, I remember hitting the steering wheel a couple of times to get out the remaining rage and then I was done.  It was time to have my ‘Come to Jesus’ Moment.  I turned on my music and Sting’s song “Fragile” comes on, perfect song to get me thinking.  Granted, “Fragile” deals with the destruction of our planet, and my issues are but a speck on the face of the earth.  Somehow this realization makes my dilemma more manageable.  I have been thinking for the past couple of hours now, as I cooked dinner for Dad in this super-intense heat, kept repeating the song, I sweated out my rage, and willed myself not to take out my mess on my Dad.  You’ll be proud of me, I did not yell at him at all.   Now as I sit here writing, barely two hours later, ready to connect with JesusGodVirgenOfG to help me out of this desmadre, I’m proud of myself that I have taken more responsibility for my fit-throwing life and, at this moment, I know only one thing:  I have nothing, yet I have everything.

I don’t remember being this financially challenged EVER.  I also don’t remember being this CALM about it either.  When I decided to live my life “freelance” style,  I was nervous.  Gone was the security, gone was the majority of my disposable income, but, happily, gone was that gnawing feeling that something was either left undone or not done right at all after a weekend of events.  In my business, something seemingly innocent like finding pictures of a banner not hung just so was cause for straight-up alarm and could make my Mondays feel like I was being rolled over on coals of fire and could convert a perfect event into the latest nightmare.

Best decision I ever made?  As pobre as I am at this moment, I believe I made the right decision.   My personal drama made it necessary for me to step back from my industry, and, once I had a summer completely off, where I no longer had to work every single weekend, every holiday, and arrive late or miss events with my family, I knew that GodJesusVirgenOfG had put the more important things of life in front of my face:  familia, friends, writing, rest, and relaxation.

I tell my media and event colleagues that I am not the Carmen of back in the day:  the one who SLEPT at work, living and breathing events 24/7 to make events happen.  Don’t get me wrong, I can and do kick ass at the events that I choose to work on, I will never lose that competitive drive completely I guess.  However,  I also remember the Carmen who would work when she was beyond exhausted and almost drove off the Sunol Grade before she, thankfully,  woke up, I remember having to make the very painful decision to leave one job after another in search of my peace.    Little by little, I’ve reconnected with my familia/friends and now live a relatively peaceful life.

Now that my priorities have completely changed, I still need to be able to get over myself and re-do my financial life.  First,  I am done screaming ‘SonsaTontaPendeja‘ at myself – there is no way that I have been the first (or the last) person to have an ATM card declined.  Second, I gain nothing by blaming others for my lack of feria.  Third, it is essential that I get my sense of aventada-ness and hustle back front and center and do what I have always done:  worked it from the minute I put it in writing.   This is not the place for my InnerChillona…it is time to completely work it as my InnerChingona would do.  Find income. Invest in my future. Create more savings. Keep Working That Budget.

My business is seasonal.  As I have no millionario or sugar daddy waiting in the wings with a bolsa de dinero (cash), it is imperative that I get back on my own two feet in order to survive today as well as the slow period (November thru February).  I am intelligent, resourceful, with marketable skills that would be an asset to many.  Now I have to get my huevos together and these suggestions have helped me… maybe they’ll help you as well.

From Ginger Dean, Founder of ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Funds’

How Do I Get Back And Stand On My Two Feet? 

Self-sufficiency is sexy.

Go back to school. Start there. Did you finish college or high school? Do you want to go back to graduate school? What are you passionate about that requires a degree or certificate? Do you need to go back to school? These are all questions that you have to ask yourself if your path to returning to the work force involves going back to school.  For me, it’s all about closing the circle:  Passing the State Interpreter Exam and I have already started researching getting a second BA Degree in Spanish from all of the units that I took at SFSU for Interpretation and Translation, I also want to take some basic design classes to keep up with the young uns in Marketing.  

Start a business. Along the same lines of going back to school, what are you passionate about? Do you see a need in the market that hasn’t been filled? How can you work to fill that need while creating income for yourself? This can include producing your own stuff to sell on Etsy or Ebay as well.  My ideas are good, my ideas fill a need, a lot of this is already in progress, now it’s get the hell out of my own way and really make this happen.   This is the scariest part of moving forward, because there’s nothing left to say, it’s time to work it.

Renew or update your skills. If you’re in a field like myself, then you’ll need to make sure that applicable licenses or certifications are always up to date as allowing them to lapse costs more time and money. Talk to the licensing or certification board within your field and find out what you need to do in order to maintain your skills in this area. If you plan on applying to jobs that require a license or certification then you’ll need to make sure this is up to date. Attend workshops and conferences in an effort to remain up to date with the current trends in your field as well. This also gives you the opportunity to network with others.  My goal of passing the State Interpreter Exam is still very much real and I’ve now added other skills and licenses/certifications that I will need in order to become competitive in my own business.  Pobre or not, I am willing to invest in my new future.

Find Your Sisterhood of Success AKA “Personal Board Of Advisors”

Who supports you professionally when it’s time to make hard professional decisions? Do you have a group of women or even one woman who you can turn to? I take that back, it doesn’t have to be a woman. Anyone who supports you and is able to provide professional guidance will do.  Women are more successful when they have mentors guiding them both personally and professionally. Especially when women mentor women. Great things happen!  This one I loooooove!  I’ve had what I call my Personal Focus Group for years… tons of friends/colegas who are experts in my industry, good friends, in business for themselves, and my badasses who work it Corporate America, Government, and the Latino community.  I’ve also started reaching out to those who can help me as I navigate my way to my new future.  

All of the above is true investment in my future which will require un chingo de hustle and all of the confidence that I can muster.   Can you believe that I actually had a conference call for another contract after my ATM declined, a sign for sure…it may be just what I need right now and the only way that I will know for sure is to put my butt right back out there and pray that JesusGodVirgenOfG see things my way.

Sometimes it take losing everything to realize that all is not lost, even though, at this moment, I have nothing (material), yet I have everything  – family, opportunities, creativity, and dare I say it, confidence.

It’s about time.

Confidently working toward that day when the ATM always goes through LOL.

 

 

Challenge Yourself Out Of The NoLonjaZone, Phase 1

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I am on Day 21 of a 30-Day Health Challenge.  The goal is to live healthier and  since May 15th thru June 15th, I am drinking no soda, 1 gallon of water per day, 20 minutes of exercise a day, no emotional eating, that is – eat only when hungry, and to try to do one plank for 30 seconds per day.

How has it gone?  It hasn’t been as bad as I thought.  I’ve been walking every single day, I’ve been able to cut down my emotional eating dramatically and actually started to wait for the hunger pangs in my stomach, I tried doing the plank thing for one day and never went back to it LOL.  What I have done instead is do the jump rope, squats and I’ve actually r u n.   The difficult days to work out have been the weekends – this family always seems to have something planned and I have not been that great at managing my time in that regard.   There have also been days when I would be waaaay pissed off because I did not want to work out … but once I would get done with it, I always felt better.

What have I learned so far?  I feel better.  I have been sleeping better.  I have discovered what my weak spots are food-wise, I find that by getting folks to do the challenge with me has kept me motivated and sharing my stories has actually kept me more accountable.   The water has me constantly in the bathroom LOL but I do feel much healthier.  One of my favorite drinks has always been ‘coca con hielo‘ aka a Coke with ice.  It was getting to the point that I had to have at least one with ice daily and I still miss this, especially about 3pm, hey, some people want cafe, I want ‘coca con hielo’.  The ONE weak spot that totally surprised me was that I crave chocolate ice cream like 24/7, maybe it’s a hot-weather thing  but that struggle is real LOL.

Love it that there is a team committed to doing this challenge, some on social media, and the ones who work it via text messages.  Either way, it’s very cool that I am not alone in this challenge.  Also, that I report on my progress daily, no matter how embarrassing, has really been the key to keeping it up.    It’s only a start and, if I make it through this challenge, I will get on another one, it’s time to stop giving power to my insecurity, to silence the voices of those who do not support me, and to embrace living a healthier life – which, by the way, came in handy yesterday when I took a bunch of my godchildren to the beach, including my 2-year old bebitas.  I had more energy and was able to go up a steep shortcut path made of sand without breaking my neck LOL.

At this point, the only thing I can suggest is that you do what you can, when you can and that this is only a start.

The journey continues to the No Lonja Zone. (Lonja = MuffinTop = Gordita-Ness).

#AshTag

 

Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday, and is chiefly observed by Catholics, although many other Christians observe it too. Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. Ashes also symbolize grief, in this case, grief that we have sinned and caused division from God.

For most of my life, I have gone to Mass on Ash Wednesday, no meat on Fridays, always wondering what to give up for Lent – candy, chocolate, salt, fast food were always some of the things I would give up because I “had” to, I don’t know if I ever really took Ash Wednesday that seriously until this year. Not only did I take it more seriously, I felt like a lot of people did as well.

Maybe it’s the wave of negativity that is going through our country right now…all of the hate-filled sentiment in the country: anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim, and more have people on edge and fearful of their families’ future…but I sensed that people are looking for their higher power to help them find peace and comfort in this very uncertain world.

In either case, I decided that, this year, I would give up something that I needed to change about myself or my life. Normally, one is supposed to keep these things to themselves as it is something between you and God. But, in the spirit of keeping myself accountable, I am giving up the following for Lent: Doubt, Worry, Fear of Failure, and Arriving Late. It really is time for me to stop doubting the plan that God has for me, worrying will not help me anymore at all, and there is no way that I will know success unless I experience failure. Arriving where I need to be on time will keep me punctual, honest, and accountable. It will not be easy (especially the last one), but I as I am already in major-change mode, a few more changes wouldn’t be so bad.

Sincere prayers are always good too.  Spreading positive energy is so important, especially toward those individuals who need prayers, especially those who think that they don’t need any support or prayers.  Praying for people might help them do the right thing and to be more positive…I can only imagine that any positive, peaceful, and happy thoughts and prayers will make our world feel more stable, less uncertain, hopeful and full of love.   I’m done wallowing in negativity and I am ready for a spiritual journey…

I have 40 days to try to change a part of my world, looking forward to a Happy Easter.

#52essays2017

 

 

 

 

One, Two, Three, JUMP! #52essays2017

 

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It all started with a jump rope.

I hadn’t jumped rope in many years.

As posted on my social media that day:  “I think I may have found the key to feeling younger and healthier…jump rope. I haven’t done this in many years and am having a blast. I wish I was not in work clothes. Just need to remember that I’m not 10 so I have to take it easy para no darme en la madre. Buying one today. #NoLonjaZone

 

It took me forever to get started, to anticipate the exact moment when I would need to jump over that piece of string. I noticed that when I would think too much about the jump that it became more difficult to do it, and do it on time.  I kept at it and finally I started to get a rhythm going.  But, again, once I thought too much about it, I would stumble and get all caught up in that rope.

Jumping rope taught me a couple of lessons:  one, I was out of shape;  two, I had been living my life so tentatively, hesitating on every detail, living in fear, that I was hopelessly in my own way thus could not move forward.    I decided that maybe jumping rope would move me out of my comfort zone a little. If I listen to the sound of the rope as it hits the ground and then jump, that I might be able to live life without so much hesitation.

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Hesitation is driven by fear:  fear of what is going to happen “if” I do this or that;  fear of what others may think, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of ____, fill in the blank.

I noticed that I was really tentative as I drove this past week, the first week without massive rain.   I had been driving for weeks with hands clenched to the wheel, trying to avoid getting into an accident, trying to avoid potholes that seemed to grow larger with every raindrop, trying to remain patient thru some of the worst traffic ever.   One would think that, once the sun came out, that I would be flying across the freeways, NOT.   Add to this, one of the headlights of the Jeep had gone out after I drove past a deep pothole in the rain…so it was harder to see the road on some of those stormy nights.

Once I noticed how tentative and hesitant I had become, I started trying to get the heck out of my way so that I could do simple things like pay bills, get the headlight fixed, get to where I needed to be on time.   Every time I completed one of these goals, I would feel this massive release of nervous energy from my body, sometimes it would be so intense that I had to take a minute to catch my breath.   it would feel as if chorros were coming on!  Your body really does sense things before you can get your hands around it, I didn’t even realize how much of my life I had started to suppress out of fear.

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It had also been difficult for me to reach out to others lately.  Fear of letting go, of having people see that my life is not perfect and “together”, of having to give before receiving.  Withdrawal had been my refuge for these past couple of years.  It was just easier to step back and not have to talk to anyone, not have to explain anything about this man or his most recent actions, and shield myself from the world.

But, like jumping rope, one has to learn to live life without hesitation.  Not everyone is out to destroy you or your reputation, every decision does not have to be a matter of life or death, and merely existing is not living.  I am open to anything that gets me back on my track in a positive way.  I would have never, ever thought that something so simple as a piece of rope would be part of my InnerChingonaSupportSystem yet here we are.  Can’t wait to buy a sturdy jump rope!   I made one key decision last night:  I told Dad that I wanted him to hit up Home Depot and find me some rope just like the one in the picture LOL and you better know that he’s on it, he even tells me, “mija, you’re gonna need handles too, I’ll find them!”  See?? I reached out to someone (Dad), I made a decision (to jump rope) and did not hesitate, now let’s hope that ‘no me doy en la madre’!    

DON’T HESITATE.  BECAUSE THERE CAN BE SOMEONE WHO WILL NOT HESITATE TO TAKE YOUR CHANCE.

#52essays2017

 

De 2016 al 2017, Happy New Year!

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2016 has been my year to embrace my new reality and to make serious changes in my life. Gone was the drive for “been there, done that” projects and jobs. Sure, my wallet is feeling the loss of revenue but I had a straight-up blast doing all kinds of event stuff: training people to work booths this event season, watching them get into having fun with people and bring in sales. Loved working new festivals – a challenge with entirely new audiences and much bigger ones, man I learned a lot!  I had so much fun coordinating Vanessa and Erick’s wedding this fall, and when I translated documents for folks, I watched people’s faces turn from fear into straight-up relief as I helped them find their power and get some justice from their issues, and the one event where I told BFF Lisa, “girl, you know that I am your friend” as I helped her coordinate a walk for dogs and their owners at a winery…and y’all know that I am not an animal person LOL. Working events for my Latino community is something I will a l w a y s  do and it’s always fun to be amongst the raza.  The key for all of these events is that I was ready to do things differently, to take charge of a different aspect of an event, to get those nervous chorros that make me more prepared, to learn how to be more effective. Sometimes, you have to shake things up and shake them up I did. I had the most fun I’ve ever had in my entire professional life.

One of my 2016 goals was to work it for my familia. Very happy to report that we remain as close as ever and my roommate Mike Torres and I still get along. My Dad is an original, he does things his way, when he wants, where he wants. The days at the Ranch start at night – Dad’s drilling, hammering, doing the laundry, working on his papers, and playing music. While working an event, I get a picture texted to me of Dad in his new convertible, all I could do was shake my head and smile.

I am the one who needs my space and quiet time – the space I’ve found in our “girls’ room” and the quiet time well…I’m just happy that my 81-years-young Dad is still running around, doing his projects, playing music, and helping to keep us together. We Torres5 are finally getting back into a routine, each taking a day to be with Dad, and it’s so funny when a bunch of us are at the Ranch when it’s ‘not our day’ LOL   Torres Babies, old and young, are the JOYS of our lives. The little ones are all doing all of the firsts, talking, going to school, playing together, etc. So much fun.

We still get together to pray for Mama on the 11th of each month, I didn’t know if Dad would want to keep it going and, he’s cool with it, so you will find the Torres Fam praying together which keeps the family united.

So many milestones in 2016: Our STE2 graduated with his Master Degree from SFSU, Our Antonia celebrated her Quinceanera, Our Lucia was baptized in Texas, our Olivia started preschool at 1-year-old and was ‘promoted’ to the next level because she’s so smart, Jami and Michael got married, Sabrina is helping take care of us and the nation somewhere in the MiddleEast,  we celebrated Mother’s Day at the Ranch taking “serenata” to all of our mothers, we celebrated Mama’s birthday at Jackson Rancheria, one of her fav places, we had a fun Ranch Día de Los Muertos/Halloween party and we celebrated our 14th Grijalva Girls Christmas Reunion and this weekend, we celebrate our Christmas/Dia De Los 3 Reyes.  Sadly, at the very end of the year, we lost our cousin Chella in Mexicali and our prayers go out to our cousins.

I just got my results of the State Interpreter Exam and I passed THREE parts out of four, y’all know that this is an all or nothing exam so no passing, and, once I get over the disappointment and the urge to analyze every little thing I may have done wrong, I will be back at it studying.   This is a pride thing now LOL.  I’m all over this MF after the New Year LOL!  I will be so happy once I pass this test once and for all.

My BFFs and I have tried to meet once a month all year to catch up on the chisme, love them. It was a very sad time during the summer as BFF Maria Garcia was battling cancer and I was very sad the day that she left but grateful that she was no longer suffering. She gave me so many little things that I randomly come across: purses, makeup, clothes. Miss her.

My writing will move more front and center in 2017.  If I am to call myself a writer/blogger, then I will be much more authentic and work it like I never did before.   I will be participating in a year-long challenge to write one essay a week in 2017 and am very excited about starting!  I hope you will enjoy what I am putting together, and, if you do not, I hope that you will still read and let me know what you think! #52essays2017

So much has happened in our world in 2016, especially during the last weeks of the year.  It feels as if disappointment, uncertainty, sadness, and hate have taken their place front and center.  As Mama always said, “this too shall pass” and I believe in the goodness of people, of this country and this world and pledge to be part of the solution and not the problem.   There will be many changes in my life in the upcoming year and I fully intend to “buscar el lado amable”, look for the good in people and situations,  and strive to come out of 2017 happier and healthier.

I have lots of plans and lots of ideas for how I intend to spend my 2017. Gone are the days of living head down without any joy in my life. It took me many, many years to start living my life rather than watch my life go by. I don’t know where I will end up next and I have a lot of faith that GodJesus&VirgenOfG will lead me to the people, places, and situations where I need to be. Thanks for your help and support this past year, thanks for visiting my blog and reading what I write, thanks for loving me and my familia, and I hope you all have a Happy New Year.
#52essays2017

Solo Son Palabras…Life Through Another’s Eyes…and Words

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We all deal with the struggle of having to see ourselves through another’s eyes:  our mothers, fathers, family, significant others, children, boss, friends, you name it.  Nothing can give your confidence a boost like a word that you need to hear at “just the right moment”.   Conversely, nothing can bring your world crashing down like a word — be it “as a friend” advice, criticism, or observation that, whether it is well-meaning or not, can bring on a negative effect and rock your world for minutes, days, months, or years.

Part of getting your CONFIDENCE back is to find the courage to sift through all of these words and to toss those that have no meaning for you, that were given to you in a destructive manner, and keep those words that will help you live in the most positive way possible.   I warn you now, this post will be graphic and sometimes negative.  These are the types of words that I have had to look at for five years now from one individual, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week:

-I don’t want to take out every bit of anger I have on you.

-I’m going to lose it carmen.

-You know how I get when I’m frustrated and pissed.

-The holidays are here is bullshit necessary?

-Really. Do not fuck with me carmen. You really need to answer me. Hello. (repeated hundreds of times in separate text messages).

-I can tear you up carmen. You and the peeps you love

-Im your enemy until further notice

-Apparently you haven’t lost enough‏

-Bitch call me later

-I live to make you eat your words

-Run my money bitch, give me my cut fat slut

I have waited a very long time to make this blog post.  I guess it was either too difficult or humiliating to take a look back.  Five years are a long time to have to deal with someone’s else’s view of you and your life.  Much of this time was spent with my head down, trying to minimize the damage, trying to control the situation, trying to change the words that spewed every negative thing imaginable.   Abusive words that, in the short run, damaged me and my view of myself, compromised my trust of people, of situations, of life and in myself.   To give you an idea of what type of mess I deal with to this day, this person has sent me over 30,000 text and email messages which are 99% negative, filthy, abusive, obsessive, demeaning, disgusting, perverse, and straight-up crazy.  To top it off, this person did not stop with me.  My family, friends, colleagues, bosses, and acquaintances were all in the line of his vicious fire.

Although I never stopped writing, it was difficult for me to imagine ever saying, much less writing some of the words that have harmed me.  And you better know that this is just a very small part of the words I have seen, there is so much that is so graphic and deranged that, out of respect, I cannot include them into this post.

Below you will see my monthly summary of texts and calls that have been sent to me – I may have been dealing with this mess for five years, and, amazingly, it never seems to let up:  this picture is from August from one week of THIS year.    If you do the math, that is Four Thousand, Three Hundred, and Fifty Seven text messages in ONE week from different phone numbers.  The emails number in the thousands, the Facebook messages that some of you may have received number in the hundreds, all include my phone number.

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God, Jesus and the Virgen of G were watching out for me constantly, I never had to endure any physical abuse.  However, verbal abuse is no joke and I have since learned that words can feel like a slap in the face, a punch in the stomach, a shove into the wall, and a painful kick when you are down.  All physical violence starts with words.  What I struggled to realize was that I had the power to stop this damage.  I had the law behind me, I had my family and friends support, I had my work.

He always said that he would wear me down, and, to a point, he is 100% correct.  When I thankfully, started coming out of the fog, and I realized that, NO, this shit is far from normal, this person does NOT have my best interest at heart, that much of what he writes to me is either to destroy me, my reputation or a reflection of what is happening in HIS life, or lack of a life, that is, when he is not blaming me for his current situation, typical behavior for an abuser.  That I was able to make things happen, move around like I did to different cities, shows that when I need to, I can survive and work it.   I never needed this man to secure any type of job and, as it turns out, I never backed down, I never stopped working, I never stopped working it para que se le quite.

However, survival is a little different from getting my CONFIDENCE back.  In survival-mode, you are just trying to dodge the bullets and get through the day.   Now I want to BELIEVE that I can help make things great in my life and on my terms.  Therefore, reading through these words are necesssary.   I knew that this was what I had to do, and there was soooo much to read through, that it was overwhelming so I kept putting it off.  That is, until this morning, when I received yet another text message in which he discussed my physical appearance in filthy, vulgar, sick detail.  Something broke through in me and I knew that it was time.

Why now? How do I get my point across? How to make a negative into a positive?   There will never be a better time than now.  I was not ready to look at this mess before, mucho menos, talk about it with anyone.  I had to be sure that I wasn’t putting it out there so that people would have pity on me, those days are gone.  Changing HIM or his stupidass behavior is simply not possible.  You cannot fix the one who broke you:  God, life, karma, and the legal system will deal with him.  Putting his words out there allow me to rid them of the power they once had over me.  I can show others that, yes, there is life after madness.  The way I see it, words are my biggest ally, there are millions and millions of words that I can use to describe myself, my body, my life, my work, my family, my friends, and my goals —  I don’t need to live or die by his words any longer.  That said, I’m not stupid either, I am always careful and have people help watch my back.   Confidence starts with me, and, I sum this post up with these seven words:  he is not welcome on this journey.

To be Continued…

 

Ya Es Hora: Turn Thought Into Action

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It seems as I’ve been on a constant journey to find my place in this world, to find something to achieve, to climb that mountain, to walk that mile. I always remember how I could move forward, from a very early age, to get what I wanted. While the tactics have changed dramatically with every ‘logro’. I could always see the big picture. Once I had achieved goal 1, my eye was always on finishing goals 2 or 3.

So, to come to a point in my life where it all stops has been straight-up scary, emotional, crazy, and unbelievable, not to mention humbling.  Getting myself from Point A to Point B, which used to be ‘asi de facil’ now seem so overwhelming and insurmountable some days. My process has always been to turn inward and basically hibernate as I figured things out. This was easier when I was living on my own, I could be in my own house and think, see, feel, say, do whatever I wanted. No one has ever seen that side of my life, until very recently. Dad worries about me when he sees me like this, “mija, go somewhere, you need to go be with your friends”, I know he cares but what I need is to be comfortable in my “safe space” these days.   There HAS to be a reason why I’m left to figure out my next moves in the place where it all started:  at the Ranch, in my home, in the “girls’ room”.  This was the place where I first started to dream about what I wanted for my life.  Full circle.

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A lot of women of a certain age hit this ceiling – been there done that, where you feel adrift, lost, not-cool, not ‘in’, washed-up. I was relieved to see that I am not the only person who goes thru this. Lots of women “are less likely to share their opinions in a group of people, most likely to apologize for things that aren’t their fault, less likely to take risks, more likely to take criticism personally and less likely to consider themselves competent in their work” (Allison Fallon, 2015) Who hasn’t had these thoughts? Have you had the courage to voice these thoughts, even to yourself? I want this back:  it will require a lot more than wishful thinking. I love this quote:

“CONFIDENCE IS THE STUFF THAT TURNS THOUGHTS INTO ACTION”                                            (Richard Petty, Kay & Shipman, 2014).

To live the kind of life I want to live now requires mega confidence. I want to work when I want, how I want, on projects I want – easier said than done. Making things happen is what I’ve always done my entire life. The difference being that I was making things happen for s o m e o n e  e l s e. Easier because it wasn’t my money, not my resources, not my problem if things didn’t go as planned, I could always walk away and continue with my life. Now that I’ve come to the edge, the ‘now or never’, the fork in the road, the ‘do or die’, it is time for me to do some major work.

Not everything or everyone is invited or welcome on my journey, I have got to take this time and get those things, situations, and people weighing me down out of my life, my thoughts in order, my plan worked up, and I’ve got to get through my lack of self-confidence. It’s time to stop thinking that I’m “lucky”, like I haven’t worked my ass off to be here, it’s like I’m ready, but my body and mind don’t believe me yet.

Therefore, the remaining 2016 posts will be dedicated to getting myself in training to receive 2017 opportunities,           and to B E L I E V E that this is how things are gonna go. I will be driving this car, once and for all, back to Confidence. There is no way that I’m going out like this, with no fight. But the first task is to stop seeing myself through someone else’s eyes …

TO BE CONTINUED

Bravery: From Miedosa to Chingona


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MAKING THE DECISION

Ever since I made the momentous decision to make business cards, I’ve been a bundle of nerves. Business cards mean that there’s no turning back for now, it’s putting yourself out there.  Checking the mail every day and asking ‘Are they here yet?’ Then I sat down and thought, ‘what business do I have tryna start a business? especially when I am not together?’ I am completely out of my comfort zone, gone are the ‘comfortable’ things that I always had and took for granted: salary,, benefits, resources, safety net.

I’ve always said that my life is not for everyone, But some days,, I have had to push on, even when I do not feel like handling the business that is my life. The biggest challenge for me has been that, when I see that the four walls are closing in fast, instead of empowering myself, I find that my mind is on overdrive with crazyass thoughts and all of my fears are being brought up to the surface.  If I am going to make it in business, and in life, then I must find a way to survive and thrive within in a new comfort zone.

How do I make my new comfort zone?  I cannot be the only one who is trying to make positive change in life so I started looking for information to ease my mind, my fears, and to learn how to channel this energy so that I can work it and make it happen.

THE CHINGONA NETWORK

First thing I did was turn to my network of familia and friends;  I sent out a text a few minutes ago and asked some of you to tell me in 10 words or less what bravery meant to you:

“Having fear yet surging forward to a triumphant successful outcome”
“Finding your ‘ovarios‘ and proudly showing them off”
“Getting things done even when you’re terrified por no quedarte con el “what if”
“Being able to stand up for what is important to you even when you’re scared”
“Acknowledging your fears and doing what you KNOW needs doing”
“Bravery means wiping your tears and picking yourself up to handle the next round of BS”

Love the responses!  These powerful statements allowed me to see that all of us struggle with some type of fear that we all throw to the side when we need to make changes in our lives, no matter how small. I didn’t need to know exactly WHAT scares you or what motivates you to move forward, although I could definitely sense the intensity in all of these statements, and I found that acts of bravery can be large or small, and can occur many times in our lives.

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THE ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT

My question is how do we know what to do when life pushes us forward to do something new? How do we channel our fears and motivate ourselves to ‘handle it’? Have any of you ever told yourself any of the following statements?

  1. “I can’t make time for this. My family needs all my attention.”
  2. “I don’t really have the money to invest in myself right now.”
  3. “People will think I’m crazy for doing this.”
  4. “I’ll feel guilty honoring my own dreams and doing something for myself.”
  5. “I’m not sure this will do anything for me.
    –Kathy Caprino

I’ll put myself out there and briefly answer these questions:

1. I have no children or husband, I love my family but they are all grown folks, so, no excuses, I must make time for this.
2. True, I have no money to invest in myself right now so I must find other ways to invest: free training, find a mentor, an investor, review my talents and find new income in the meantime.
3. True. What else is new? LOL.
4. This is probably the hardest of the five questions to read and fulfill: my struggle has been honoring my dreams, taking care of myself, and more important, TRUSTING myself to make good and positive decisions. It’s been Dad, Familia and trying to stay out of the line of fire in my personal life. Not easy but it soon will be!  Once I get over this hurdle and let go of negativity is when I will truly celebrate!
5. When I feel all of the fears of living life without a net is when I’m all ‘freakiada’ and I wonder if I made the right decision.  What I must do is embrace the fear so that I am able to see how much being brave really does it for me.

omg! love this great attitude adjustment! Bottom line, I do want something different in my life and I know that I do not want to handle this new phase of my life alone, that deep down, I do need help and support (so hard to admit LOL) and love it when y’all respond to my SOS text messages! Thanks.

I guess that there never is a good time to start something new than NOW, is there?  Time to work it and have fun!

WORKING IT FROM MIEDOSA TO CHINGONA

When I saw this quote below, I felt as if I had to share it right away!  But more important, this quote took me out of my ‘four walls closing in miedosa filled with fear’ attitude today, it got my butt out of the house and out into the world so that ‘La Miedosa’ could pay a visit to ‘La Chingona’ along with the merry band of chingonas who sent me the text messsages LOL.  So as I end this week, I leave you with this quote…

“Bravery is the ability to move forward to a goal, to take action that is in your highest interest and in the interest of all mankind, even in the face of all your fears, anxieties and insecurities, and in the face of your core belief that you’re not good enough or strong enough. Bravery is the very thing that makes us bigger than ourselves, and changes the world for good.” -Kathy Caprino

…and I’ll also leave part of my business card! which I’ll gladly give out ONCE I get them in the mail!  LOL

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The Power of ‘NO’

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I’ve written on this subject before so that means that I still needed some work on the word ‘no’.  So many times, when I have said ‘no’, I was afraid. Afraid of the power of the word, afraid that people wouldn’t like me, afraid that I would mess up the status quo, afraid that someone would get mad, afraid to use my God-given mind, afraid of the sound of my voice.  Hoping that my voice wouldn’t betray me by shaking, afraid that my tears would fall out of my eyes and that I would appear weak.

Then, last week happened. Suffice it to say that all hell broke loose, every fear came at me face-first, humiliation, defeat, death, weakness, sadness.   Everything manifested itself physically with me violently ill vomiting all over the car while driving on the freeway.   As I sat at my friend’s house, cooled off, and calmed myself, I had just enough energy to get in my car and drive home slowly.   Nothing really hit me until the next day…here I was physically sick and still trying to control every part of my world, trying to keep that lid on tight.  Well, of course, that didn’t end well.  I was still throwing up and still trying to do it all myself, trying to control the rage and action of others.  Then it hit me, by letting go and by saying ‘no’ and meaning it, I could get myself back in gear.

I had an assignment in a support group I belonged to a couple of years ago:  our assignment was to say ‘no’ and mean it, with no apologies, no ‘I’m sorry’ after that ‘no’.   I was all big and bad in my group and then promptly went outside to get gasoline, when someone came up and asked me for money.  First thing out of my mouth:  “I’m sorry but no…” Fail. LOL.

Fast forward 3 or 4 days, I’m still a little shaken up but my resolve is stronger than ever.  For me and for others, for the good of all concerned, it is time to say “no” and mean it, no apologies, no excuses, no rage, no anger, and most important, no fear.   I am sifting through all of the crazyass madness that took place in the past week, I am sorting out the good and bad, the things I must say no to, for my own good.  It will not be easy.  It will not be pretty,  It is necessary,  It is time to say no to drama, to anger, to rage, to control, to keeping things in, to keeping quiet, to letting myself down time and time again.   Saying ‘no’ will allow me to heal, to stop living in fear of what others want, think and/or do.   I can now see that I have been through worse and, at the end of the day, when I thought about it, it was when I said “No” that things truly changed for the better, it’s all in how you look at things.

I have lost so much in the past few days, but I have gained something too:  thanks to the grace of God, I’ve been able to gain perspective, which I really needed, I was able to see that, things happen, no one is perfect, and that no one should live life with a pit of negativity in their stomach.  NO is a complete sentence and respecting my boundaries will never lead me wrong, no matter what happens.

Tortillas & Your Inner Chingona

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If you make tortillas or, at least, warm tortillas on the comal, the best tasting ones are usually the ones that puff up, light, hot, so good you can eat them plain without butter, salt or anything, right off of the griddle, fresh.  Tortilla perfection before you rip it in half to use as utensils as you eat, before the tortilla is filled with food to make a taco; or topped with anything tostada-style, or cut and deep-fried as chips.    Living at the Ranch has me warming tortillas constantly but I never saw the analogy, the power of la tortilla until I saw this photo.

So maybe we’ve got to be the ones that puff up, proud to be who we are, light:  meaning our baggage is not weighing us down thus allowing us to be light-hearted, sangre-liviana, effective, efficient;  hot:  we are confident, powerful, not afraid to be who we are and yes, for some, that’s hot.  So good that we don’t need any frills to get what we want,  to be as authentic as possible, to work it anytime, anywhere and in front of anyone.

Let’s try to remember that puffed-up sensation when someone wants to fill us with information or judgements that make us feel heavy, not satisfied but brought down by drama, stress, or life.  Let’s work at not letting ourselves be topped with someone else’s issues so that we are not covered in their mess.  Avoid situations where we may be cut-up and deep-fried:  and  become burned-out, spiritually and physically.

Tortillas are the ultimate comfort food and the ultimate journey of loving ourselves starts by taking care of ourselves.   Sometimes taking care of ourselves feels like we are on top of that comal – especially when we struggle with seeing ourselves through another’s eyes and we forget how great and capable we are.  Let’s not forget to puff up ESPECIALLY when the heat is on.   Be light, be hot, be great.