How Do You Eat An Elephant?

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This question was posed to me after Jorge, one of my BFFs, responded to one of my previous blog entries on turning thought into action. “…so the question is, “how do u eat an elephant?” answer: one pinche bite at a time, y con ganas!! i love this, what, idiom or expression. this is how i choose to do life; one glorious, delicious bite at a time y tranquilito” (JC 2016).

Now that I’ve made the conscious decision to see my life through MY eyes instead of through someone else’s eyes, I feel like half of my brain has opened up. Letting go of this drama has been profound for me, it’s like there is so much for me to do, and I feel like I am 5 years behind in my goals and in my life. Starting from zero is not fun from a financial standpoint but, on every other level, it’s exciting to know that I get to take time to think about my next move, to make and work my plans.

In speaking with my sisters today, they reminded me that everything is happening now for a reason: had I been tethered to a person or a company, I might not have been able to take the time to work out my life in this fashion.  It is so fitting that the ultimate comfort zone and my ultimate safe place has always been here for me, The Ranch.  I foolishly spent too much time running from it, running from myself, running from my familia, running, always running…

For now, I’m doing things like packing up all of my stuff, which is spread out in all kinds of different places, and consolidating it all into one place.  From there, I will start purging things that I no longer use or need like clothes, housewares, furniture, you name it.   I’m also on a mission to lose this ever-present lonja, I know that working out will make a positive difference for me, especially as it has everything to do with getting rid of extra weight and purging all of the negative body image thoughts that I am ready to do away with.

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Key to my tackling all of my new projects and goals has to be time-management, breaking these projects down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals…that way, it’s much more easier for me to embrace change as I create the life that I want.  It will not be easy.  I may not be hoarder-status but I am a pack-rat and it’s very difficult for me to throw things out.  Working out and taking care of myself has not been the priority for a very long time.   A big part of this will be channelling my InnerChingona:  the only way to keep myself calm and focused as I deal with all of the negative and destructive words that were thrown at me, that defeated me for so long, and to get into shape and break that cycle.

For many many many years, I had no trust for things that did not happen ‘right now’, I moved waaaay too fast and felt that I had to catch that crazy ride of life.   Now, I have so much faith in taking time with the important things in life.  My plans will be formulated ‘de a poquito/a little at a time’, change takes time, and I must take life one “pinche bite at a time…pero con ganas!”

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Day 3 of 15 Days of Hispanic Heritage Photo Challenge: Amigos/Friends

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I’m blessed to have some great friends.  Starting with my main BFFs the Torres5, my brothers and sisters.  I’ve got good friends all over the place and there are a few who have been with me forever.  We have seen each other through everything, my fam friends, my familia by choice. ‪#‎HHM15Foto‬

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Jorge and I have known each other since junior high and he’s always been my big brother.  My Comadre and Nisie became my family when we first moved out together back in the day, they helped me to not feel so scared of everything all of the time and we grew up a lil more during our time in Sac.  Love love love them.

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Angie and I met while we were at Delta College in Stockton and girl drove me around when I got into a car accident and couldn’t drive for months LOL.   How many concerts have we been to?  Lost count.

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Lisa, Mel, and Maria and I all met while at Sac State:   Maria and I met at a campus mixer when I saw her fuchsia silk dress and had to ask her where she got it.   Mel and I met in the Spanish Department and he went to class more than I did LOL so I was always asking him for notes.  Lisa and I met at a MEChA meeting and she became famous (or infamous?) for the ‘Bra Story’.  There are too many stories to fit on one blog post for all of the crazyfunny things that we have experienced…that will fill an entire book.

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Samuelaguilar and I met at the very first staff meeting that I had with a new crew and they all showed up to resign.  By the time he came up to tell me he was going to resign, I had had it with all of the resignations and told him that he had to give me a 2-week notice!  Since then, we’ve put on some awesome events eso si.

The one thing that all of these fam friends have in common is that, once we became friends, it was like we had known each other forever and, no matter how much time passes that we don’t hang out or see each other, it’s like we saw each other yesterday.  We talk, joke, laugh, cry, gossip, get attitude adjustments and the most trusted advice.  Most of my fam friends know each other too.  They are all friends with my entire family, not just me — and my familia tells me that I am happiest when I’m around these people.

“Hasta Que Te Conoci” – Wisdom from Jorge to Inner Chingona

 

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Regular readers know the importance that I place on my ‘FamFriends — those whom I choose to be part of my familia“. Jorge and I have been fam friends since our Junior High days, he has always been a big brother to me and I totally trust his opinion on all things life. He is also that ‘tio‘ just like I’m that ‘tia‘ or ‘nina‘ — we love our kids just as if we brought them into this world…many times, our ‘kids’ come to us for advice. When I don’t know what to do/say, I usually call Jorge.

Saw this email from Jorge and, being that I just saw Marc Anthony in concert last night, I have always loved his version of the song “Hasta Que Te Conoci”.  I confess that I never thought about it as a piece of advice to those who are looking for a person to share their lives with. While we often associate our youngsters with jumping in fearlessly, head first, into relationships, without thinking, and then it hits them, usually when it’s too late, that they should not have gone there in the first place … we adultos do the same thing and we are supposed to know better LOL.   Sometimes we end up picking up the pieces of our lives right along side of our “kids” when we suffer from a broken heart.  Love Jorge’s empowering advice all about loving and taking care of ourselves so that we do not entrust our heart, body, and soul to a person who can or will not honor these gifts we are so willing to give, that we learn to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves .  So Jorge’s advice works for those of us of all ages and I totally love the unique way with which he expresses himself.

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Wisdom From Jorge:  i’ve bin lookin’ for this video forever!! finally found and wanted to share with u. originally created in 1986 by juan gabriel (el divo de los jotitos from my gen) and has bin covered by many since; my fave version is this one done by mana.

for the young ones, pay attention to the lyrics—it can be sooooo true…. trust me, i know this thins!! who and how u love is way important; gotta honor and take care of the heart cuz god didn’t put u on this earth to get “beat-downs” from nobody. however, if u do fall and that person “vale madre” (ain’t no good!!), juss know u will SURVIVE and life moves on. love someone who loves u like ur loved ones do; and u do the same for her/him/them (i’m down). juss make sure u honor ur soul/heart. wish someone had talked to me about this thins when i wuz ur age; had to learn a “todo lo pendejo!!”

I’ve attached videos by Juan Gabriel, Mana (Jorge’s favorite), and Marc Anthony (my favorite) all with lyrics because this simple message hits home en español! Choose the one ‘que te llega’ that GETS to you!

Gracias, de antemano, a ti Jorge for contributing, sin querer, to today’s blog entry and for always helping me unleash my Inner Chingona! I especially love your line “love someone who loves u like ur loved ones do”.  Simple yet profound.  Y si!

 

Mana’s version of “Hasta Que Te Conoci” with lyrics

 

Marc Anthony’s version of “Hasta Que Te Conoci” with lyrics

 

Juan Gabriel’s version of “Hasta Que Te Conoci” with lyrics

 

For those of you who need a quick translation of the song, please note:  I’m no songwriter LOL so you are only getting the basic, albeit passionate,  message of the song.  “I didn’t know about sorrow or tears or anything that made me cry…I never suffered, I never cried, I was really happy, I lived very well…Hasta Que Te Conoci/Until I met you, I looked at life thru pain.  Not gonna lie, I was happy, even though I had very little love.  This, I understood too late, that I should never have loved you, because now I think of you today more than yesterday and more…”  

 

The Comadre Chronicles II – First Weekend at 25th and C and “La Pipa”

The Comadre Chronicles – Our First Weekend at 25th & C and “La Pipa”

More about my experiences on my own for the first time at Sac State back in the day…always funny and always something to learn!  LOL

For about the first month or so, Nisie, Mary, and I would go home for the weekend.    The first time that we spent the weekend at the apartment at 25th and C, it was a really quiet night.  As it was late,  we settled in for the night.

First, we hear a noise…and then we hear this creaking sound…it was slow at first and then it was faster and louder.   I remember REALLY being freaked out but not wanting to show it in front of Nisie and Mary.  Especially, since I was constantly teased about being from the “rancho” and afraid of everything.   So here I am, trying not to show how nervous I am, and then Mary and Nisie start getting nervous.  You can just imagine, we worked each other up into hysterics thinking,”omg!  Someone is trying to break into our apartment!” “What should we do?  Should we stay here? Should we go?”

Instead of calling the police, oh waaait! As I recall, we did not yet have a phone, so las tres tontas decide to risk their lives, leave the apartment, get into Nisie’s car, and make the drive in search of a telephone.  Once we got to a phone, did we call the police?  No, we called Jorge and Mario, our friends who lived a few blocks away.

Here come Jorge and Mario ‘to the rescue’ to check out the apartment to make sure that some loco has not invaded our space.  But not before telling us, or as I recall, lecturing these 3 women to always be careful, not to be ”pendejas” and about always calling the POLICE first instead of them!

Turns out there was no random vato in our “spot”, it was the sound of the folks in the apartment next to us walking around!  I don’t know about the girls, but I felt like a complete idiot from the rancho!  I also felt extreme relief knowing that we were safe and that these guys were around!   We also received a gift from Mario that night, a small steel pipe for protection; this pipe also had a name, which is so non-PC (politically correct) that I cannot tell you what it is … and you know what?  That pipe has accompanied me on my many moves throughout the years and, thank God, I never had to use it.

Lesson learned?  Call the police first in case of any emergency, real or imagined.  Nothing wrong with keeping that “pipa” around just in case!

 

The Comadre Chronicles I – The Bra Story

The Comadre Chronicles I – ‘The Bra Story”

Everyone should have that one friend who is fearless, who has no shame, in the best sense of the word, who teaches you about life like no one else can…aaaand, who can have fun with you like no one else can!   I was super-blessed to have had two of them when I first moved out on my own.

Upon first glance, back in the day, my Comadre Mary, Denise AKA Nisie and I were the three people LESS likely to get along, much less be friends.    I don’t even remember how we decided to be roommates at Sac State back in the day, but it was apparent early on, that we were kindred spirits, so much more alike than I could have ever imagined!  The pic above features us 3 with my ‘brother’ Jorge taken at my sis’ wedding some years after we went our separate ways.  I always said that I wanted to put some of our experiences in writing … these experiences will, undoubtedly, include more of our friends, whether they choose to identify themselves, is all on them.

I always wished that I could have had a book to read that would teach me how to live on my own for the first time – especially as I was teased big time for being a tad square and from the rancho LOL!  I’m not talking about just any old book, but one that had that talked about these types of experiences that happen when you first move out …with that Latino flavor that I could so relate to … since I have yet to find that book, I’ll start putting our experiences in writing and see if any of ya’ll can relate…and, if you cannot, at least you can have a good laugh!

“The Bra Story”

While we were attending Sac State, we lived in the Midtown area and our place at 300 – 25th Street, corner of 25th and C, became famous, or maybe infamous, for the parties that we used to have there.  Sac State peeps:  I’m sure you recognize this place!   I am still amazed at the amount of people we could fit in that apartment.   Mary, Nisie, and I would clear the place out of furniture and Nisie was always in charge of putting the music together – I remember she used to always ask me to borrow my stuff en espanol as she got stuff together.   Mary was usually the one to put the word out – si no me equivoco/if I’m not mistaken, girl even made flyers…she always got everyone to attend!

The three of us got to know LOTS of folks right away once we got to the University and, as I recall, this was one of the first parties that we held at our place.   A lot of our new friends showed up to the party and, while we didn’t see anything wild happening that first party, we did see quite a few people ‘hooking up’ that night and taking off.

As we were cleaning up after the party, we found this random bra in our bedroom.  Well, I assumed that it was Nisie’s so I toss it onto her bed, the next day, I find the bra on my bed, Nisie assuming that it was mine and on and on.  One day, I tell Nisie, “This is not MY bra”, to which Nisie responds, “well, it’s NOT mine!” and then we both respond in unison busting up laughing, “Well we know IT’S NOT MARY’S!!”   Why did we laugh?  Because my Comadre, God love her, probably wears the next few sizes away from a training bra and she would be the first one to tell you this along with a million other  hilarious things LOL.

We eventually did figure out who the bra belonged to, and this individual can identify herself by responding to this blog LOL.   What makes us laugh, to this day, is the sight of that “chichero”  Comadre-speak for bra – making the rounds from one bed to the next, each one of us thinking that it belonged to the other!

What did I learn from this?  That when one leaves clothes behind ‘en casa ajena’ somewhere other than home, that s/he should be prepared for it to be ‘on’ and to be teased mercilessly from that moment on!  Believe me, we STILL bring this story up and tease this girl TO THIS DAY…

Wisdom from JORGE

I’ve always loved my famfriend brother by choice Jorge and his particular take on life. I have hundreds of emails and letters from him and have told him, many times, that I would make him immortal one day by writing about our friendship from all of these years and how his wisdom has helped me many, many, many times. It’s one thing to have a friend give you a pep talk, it’s quite another to have a friend tell you, with love, to get your depremida chillona ass back in action! From time to time, I will pull out one of Jorge’s letters and share them…love the way he communicates to me in his very unique combination of English, Spanish, Spanglish, Eubonics, and Texting!

Jorge’s Wisdom on TIPS FOR PULLING YOURSELF TOGETHER AND GETTING OUT OF ‘DEPRE’ MODE:

1) listen for the lesson; what r u posta be learning here? maybe, how to be still? focus? don’t know, but axe urself these questions and see what u get.

2) is ur house clean top to bottom? is ur pc running in top shape? here’s where i’m goen with this: do ALL u can to “create” a space; a world where all those things u CAN influence or control, r done–completed. so a clean house will make u feel good; u’ll have a place u wanna be in, thereby influencing the “tone” in the home and opening ur heart and mind to all possibilities (a decent job to pay dem billz). i know, a wee bit “metaphysical” here, pero cual es la diferencia al prayer? me?, yo uso todo lo k se puede usar para ayudarme. so try this…. seriously, promise me. all ur stuff that u can “influence” should be done; don’t pick n choose, juss do it. amazing what can happen when ur “doing” something productive; the brain goes into a different place and the tone in the home: awesome! porque? cuz u did something that supports ur overall goal; a good life where u get paid.

3) don’t fill time; dude, iss not ur style to fill time. engage ur life; ur day with purpose. see the life force in all that u do. all activity has value and is to be respected; even scrubbin’ el pinche toilet porque that clean toilet is gonna make u feel good and that will lead to a good bowel which in turn is, in fact, “affrming” life cuz u b healthy. see how all is connected? das what i’m sayin’ homegurl; todo tiene valor; see ur day that way.

4) take periodic shots of ur fave libation (sp?). dude, i love me a good drank cuando i’ve done all i can do to make my day a productive one. so after the gym OR a wog (cross between a walk and a slow-ass jog cuz ur ass is like *HE PUT IN MY AGE, WHICH I SO DELETED* or somethin’) OR doen my laundry and cleaning my house, and life still sucks cuz i aint got no job, i fix a drink and iss happy tyne! no me hago borrachito or nothin’ like dat, pero asi como me gusta a good prayer session, or completing a challenging project, i too, love a good-ass buzz and it cost like way little cuz u buy the shit on sale at rite-aid or costco. .

5) put on some yoli del rio or some other “torch” music and cry like a lil’ bitch. feels great. anyone who knows me knows that i can only do this when iss me and jeezus. a good movie or alcohol-induced stooper r sure ways of gettin’ in touch with ur inner-self and again, very cost-effective. i love this one; serious. feels great after feelin’ sorry for myself for a few hours; juss me and god. get good info afterward. pero acuerdate, esto se hace en el privacy de tu casa; tu vida. don’t wanna be no “public” reina; serious. this is the kinda stuff u keep to urself cuz otherwise it juss looks like way sad; pathetic at our age. pero en privacy, issolll good and can be very therapeutic.

so there u have it homie, stuff i do to encourage value in my daily life. u wanted some ideas; here u go!! 2bro, jorge.

How cool is it to have someone to call you on your stuff and still love you at the same time? Don’t be afraid to ask your fam or famfriends for help when you need it!