Monday, March 16, 2015

Before Something Great Happens...

The other day one of my really good friends said, "Before something great happens, usually a lot of bad things happen first.". She didn't use those exact words, but given the bitch-fest hour we had just accomplished, for lack of a better word, I knew where she was coming from. She was referring to hopeful idealism: When you've reached rock bottom, there's nowhere to go but up.

While I've tried not to get my hopes up for this year (because I had outstanding hopes for 2014, and one of these days I'll puke myself into telling you how it went), once in a while, little phrases like these make their way into my thoughts. Good thoughts, for a change. In the middle of everything, those simple thoughts can save you from getting closer to insanity.

Anxiety is your worst enemy when there are just too many weird things going on. One instance is to feel like you're barely in control, and a very different one is to feel that your surroundings completely control you, your mood, your decisions, your view of every little thing or situation. It's not comfortable to second guess every decision, of ever minute, of every hour. And I'm feeling it lately. Ughhh, and it's a m'er f'er this time around. Wrinkles under my eyes, a few gray hairs and everything. It's here, full force.

A lot of our good friends have gone to better places, less like death and more like better jobs. We're left behind joking about slitting our wrists, jumping off a cliff, or setting the place on fire. It's all fun and games, and we keep the class, I mean, who doesn't joke about how miserable their workplace is? But damn... Something's gotta give. It's like people and processes are out doing themselves in the realm of difficulty, and we're left to wonder why we should even care about the whole thing.

For all we've been through this past year, my dungeon buddies and I deserve an awesome 2015. It's time for new stories, new people to accompany these stories, and fresh perspectives to go with the fresh personalities some of us have. And to awaken the calmer personalities of the bunch. ... Wait, never mind, we have none of those.

When my friend said that, and her pretty and inevitably adventurous eyes kinda lit up, I couldn't help but find myself hoping she's right.  Some would say we're just dealing with glorified first world problems. I think we're just growing up a little more. And I don't want it!

But at the end of the day, I'm just thankful. That we're going through this together, that it'll end at some point, and that it could always be worse.

We could be out of work, or being overworked... I could be prohibited from writing these words. I'm obviously all over the place. But that's where I'm supposed to be, I guess... Before Something Great Happens.

YD 3/26/2015.-

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Proof is in the Blogging

Yeah, I know. It's been a little a while since I've visited. But after this crazy season winds down, I promise I'll be back with a few pretty good ponderings, and maybe even some entertaining stories.

I just had to lock in this last post before the end of the year. Before getting stopped dead in my tracks, slapped right in the middle of my face, perhaps even mid-frolic ;-), by that new pseudo-hope that inevitably appears with New Year's Day.

And yes, I'm being extra concerned about something that most likely only matters to me, but that's precisely the point. Apart from my family and friends, you're one of the things that remains that I truly and genuinely care about. You're my blog, one of the strongest pieces of proof that I was once sane and then went insane, and have been in that back-and-forth ever since. How could I possibly let you go?

What would I have done without you when I went into those places so dark I would have never found my way out, because there was no one I could talk to that could so much as start trying to understand, or even accept?

Who would I have turned to in the times life decided to add in the shock factor of a surprise on top of another, even before I recuperated from the first? I would have never been able to handle myself and react as the classy broad I am!!

I promise I won't outgrow you, Blog. I don't think I ever could. Thanks for everything to you, my ever unconditional friend, and to your little sister, the password protected one, for helping me keep the secrets of a friend I thought would be just as unconditional.

And yes, you, reading this, you're most welcome to call me crazy for talking to something inanimate. But in all honesty... Do I look like I can afford therapy?

With that... Cheers, everyone. Here's to an outstanding 2015. May it be ever fulfilling, ever unforgettable, and ever unique.

... Just like my blog.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Secret Life of Pushovers (II)

Where was I? Ah, yes, my favorite pushover ever. For sh*ts and giggles, we'll call him Donatello, in the true spirit of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles making their much awaited comeback. Plus, our leading fella's name is the same as one of theirs.
Donatello was, at the time, shorter than I was. A bit darker than me, with soft eyes that made him look like he had been hurt (by something physical and simplistic, like getting hit by a car, not by, like, heartache), and in my entire life I have undoubtedly never kissed bigger lips. Twice my size (I know, right?!), plumped up like on God's Botox, and perfectly shaped like the healthiest apple. We were really good for each other because he boosted my self-esteem as best as he could, and I brought him out of his shell a little. (Get it? Shell? Half shell, cause he's Donatello?? I crack myself up...)
Anyhow, I wasn't exactly Miss Kind when I used to date him, so Donatello ended up taking a few bullets for me. Perfect example, I started some gossip about a mutual friend, blamed good ol' Donatello, and he took it like a man, even if it meant that our friend wouldn't talk to him for a while. To this day, I haven't thanked him for that. I know you're reading this, so thanks, D.!
There was also an instance where Yvette, a couple of new friends, Don and I were at Plaza Zona Rosa, when it used to be the hot spot for college kids, and he disappeared on us for like an hour. When he showed up, not only did I rip him a new as*hole, I did it in front of our new friends. It wasn't until half hour later that we realized he was doing it to stall us from heading home, as my mom was preparing a surprise birthday party for Yvette. And my mom LOVED Donatello with such a passion, that she counted on him to be in on the plan INSTEAD of me.
The decline in our relationship came when he took being a pushover to the next level. I was beginning to be super into him, and (with the help with my prying mother) picturing a pretty great future with him. But the boy took some pretty bad advice. One of his friends, of which I have never inquired the name, told him he needed to "show me 'what he had' a little more". This meant that, not only was it pretty obvious Donatello had money, but he now had to boast about it. He actually paid attention to that piece of... gold.
While out on dates, he told me he made the huge effort of not repeating the same clothing twice a year; he said he wanted to buy an original NES, "just to have it", not even to take it out of the box; the kicker was when we passed a jewelry store and I mentioned I really liked a diamond cross that was on the window, and he gave me that look that rich people give, like they can buy your soul if they wanted to. I stopped him dead in his tracks and told him not to even think about buying it.
But the glass that spilled the cup for me was the fact that he had the opportunity to enroll in an international program straight from the university he was attending (we didn't go to the same school, he was at the rich-kid university, PUCMM), it entailed a few years at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  And... he rejected the opportunity. Yup, he turned down a ridiculously positive experience... for none other.. than... me. I know it sound romantic as f*ck, but I was FURIOUS. I remember my throat hurting as I yelled over the phone. How could he throw away something so great, a truly amazing opportunity, over someone who treated him like total crap? Had I been more mature I would have realized he was trying not to be away from me and visualizing a future with me. But all he did was freak me out. Seemed like he just couldn't find a balance between making me want him for him, and making me love him I'm spite of him being rich. So he did what any pushover would do, push himself over and put me first. All he really did was what he thought was best, and I couldn't see past freaking out over someone wanting to give me everything. It was over within the month.
The last time I saw Donatello, we were having dinner in what's probably my favorite joint in Santiago at the moment. He said he was crushed that last time he called my house phone and Yvette picked up, looked at me, and not even lowering my voice, I said "Tell him I'm not here." I don't remember that happening, but the way I was treating him those days, I wouldn't have put it past me. I do remember Yvette sending him a letter through mIRC that she had found, where I was breaking up with him. He typed back that he was going to see if his parents would get him out of the country. "Oh, NOW you wanna leave??" I remember being so pissed, and freaked out, and overwhelmed, that at that point nothing he couldn't do anything to alleviate it.
He did alleviate things for himself, though. Became super ambitious, found a wife that's just a tad less ambitious than him, heheh... And is fulfilling his dreams as best as he can. That's not easy back in the Dominican Republic. Overall, I'm happy he's still my friend, and that he overcame this whole pushover deal. Which is truly more than I can say for a lot of other friends I have at the moment. But that, my friends, is another story.
So if you are a pushover, or know someone who is, and you are currently not happy with your situation, remember this: sometimes the other person is just waiting for you to take charge this time around. Don't sit and wait. For what you'll inevitably be pushing next, will be your relationship away, and your suitcases out the door. And it won't be to go to Rochester!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Secret Life of Pushovers

Growing up and while dating I wasn't very confident. Yes, I stopped being shy as soon as I hit sophomore year in high school, but confidence didn't really work its way into my repertoire of magic tricks until sophomore year in college. Up until that point, I had been drawn to dudes who were very sure (even full) of themselves. And super secure in me, too. As far as they were concerned, infidelity would never be an issue, because I was so self conscious, that I could never shoot for someone better for me.

Now, keep in mind I never thought I'd have a serious relationship, let alone become engaged or get married. My plans for the future revolved around a Mack truck with windows, looking as badass as "Lola La Trailera", never living in the same state for more than a year, and settling for being cool Aunt Yani for the rest of my life. I couldn't be bothered with the conversation of being a wife and mothering kids to some hot shot. Because I would be the hot shot. Whatever I did professionally would be BIG. Whatever I did romantically, not so much.

Life can definitely throw you in directions never expected. And the fact I actually found someone crazy enough to put up with my eccentricities (which I didn't know existed until my thirties, smacking me so hard that my chin gets smaller by the minute) is still some kind of a mystery to me.

But I digress. So I dated (defining dating as puritan, unadulterated, nonsexual and unapologetic fun) a handful of guys who were absolutely sure of what they were doing at the moment. Locking me down while they had no idea how to fix their own locks regarding self awareness. Clueless about their appearance and completely oblivious to the fact that other guys were looking at me. And looking pretty hard.

And then came the pushovers. That group of guys that inevitably made me realize who I had previously been and why I could never be that way again. The pushover had a few character traits that set him apart from the rest of the dating spectrum, and that still live worldwide today. (Ughhhh, "worldwide", I just totally sounded like Pitbull. Remind me never to say that word again...)

1) He is not enough for you, let alone for anyone else. The pushover is an expert at strongly believing you'll dump him the second he says the wrong thing. And once you leave him, he'll be alone forever, because let's face it, he's nothing without you. You made him, and you will destroy him if this happens.

2) Everything is unbearable. It's the end of the world when an argument comes about. He drowns in a sorrow so deep, his face can only be described by that little emoticon that has its eyes sadly shut and his mouth open oh, so wide in a ridiculous frown. Yes, it would be easier to paste the emoticon here, but I got you to exercise your imagination, didn't I?

3) Looks don't matter, but BOY, DO THEY MATTER! He looks in the mirror fifty times before going out, and seventy-five times before exiting the cab to go in the club. Yet, he has the audacity to say looks aren't important and thrives on saying he's with you specifically because of your personality. God forbid you getting a big head for believing you're cuter than you really are! No, he'll tell you that you're beautiful, but he'll never push it. Because in his eyes, the second you realize you're a lot hotter than he is, you're dumping his ass.

This last one is particularly curious because it's where the pushover tries to convince the world that he's not a pushover. He portrays a tiny bit of confidence, which is total bs, because he's secretly and dramatically dying inside.

I dated a boy who was probably the biggest pushover I have ever met. This guy was booksmart, the pride of both his (loaded) parents and teachers. He was the only one in our clique that went to school for what I like to call engineering on steroids, AKA Telematics Engineering. He was bright, and always put his studies over everything else. And a successful future could clearly be seen for him, no matter what he did... Until I came along.

... To Be Continued...

(Woa! I hadn't typed "To Be Continued" in years! Feels good. Why did I stop doing that again?)

Yani DLC

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If it wasn't for Her

There are certain days when I just want to let go. Just disconnect, not care, not worry about what'll happen tomorrow. Days that merit drinking, cursing, hurting myself, so I won't hurt others. Days where everything I've worked for, and everything I've obtained... seems so small, so insignificant, so irrelevant.

There are simpler days, when I need family, friends, the occasional flirtation, to make it through. These are NOT those days. On these I need absolute detachment, solitude, the sense that I'm battling my demons on my own, the sense of control that finds its way to perdition and kills everything it finds.

But as soon as I see her face, everything changes. All my worries, all my discourage, all these wrinkles and gray hair that all of a sudden invade me... Turn to nothing.

As soon as I see her smile, I remember why I have to do this. I remember why I get up every morning and put up with people. And bring home hard earned money, and try to give her the most comfortable, safe and happy life I can. As soon as I see her eyes, I remember why I live.

I always thought parents exaggerated when they said stuff like "They're my everything", or "They're my reason to live". I had come to think humans were so self-involved and utterly selfish that one could not live for another more than for oneself, at least a tiny bit. I had never been more wrong in my entire life. And she's the reason I understand. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have a reason to understand where I'm going, why I'm living and who I'm living for.

People have asked me why I've never posted anything about my daughter. The answer is quite simple. Nothing I ever write will do justice on how this child has changed my life. Everything I write seems so unworthy, so basic, so non elaborate.

So up until this point I had never tried. But don't be fooled: with this post, I will be content, because it's something she'll be able to read one day, and maybe I'll cheer her up somehow. But in no way, shape or form will I ever think this even remotely close to fitting, or even enough to describe what she has done for me.

And I'll continue to post about simple things to describe, of course. But going forward what is inspired by her, will only be directed to her. It's up to her if she wants to share. I know writing will be a part of our communication, and I'm very much looking forward to that.

So, Janielle, when you read this, know that Mami loves you more than words could ever so much as try to describe. I love you like the Earth loves the Sun, like our favorite foods love salt, and like we, as humans, could never fully understand. You're my all, my exception, my everything. My strength and my weakness, all at once.

I will love you through the worst. Through misunderstandings, fights, heartbreak and other more alarming failures. Through anything you may consider as the world falling on you, because I will try to feel it the same.

I will love you when you hate me. Because at some point it's inevitable. But more importantly, because you have made me want to be the best I could ever be. No matter what, I will continue to live with you, at least in my spirit, and for you, at least in my mind. You're the best thing that ever happened to me, and I plan on proving it to you.

And... Maybe someday, I'll inspire you a mere tenth of what you have inspired me.

... I still can't believe you started Kindergarten today.


Saturday, July 26, 2014


About two weeks ago I had a conversation that has put in perspective how I feel about my personality in more than one way. I was told I'm dramatic. Not in the usual "You're Dominican, so it's expected" way, but that I create drama, spread it, that it follows me, and that I can't get away from it... That I blow things out of proportion in very negative ways, and that this particular person had heard many things from me that he couldn't fathom me saying.

I'm laying here thinking about it still, because no, I'm not a robot, and unfortunately I tend to hold on to what a (I'm going to use a super heavy word for this person, so excuse me while I brace myself) friend will tell me, for usually one of two reasons: 1) that it's so shocking, I can't believe those words were directed toward me, and 2) that I've spent a considerable amount of time thinking, "Yeah, things are iffy, but not because of anything relevant or worth finding out about. Let's just all get along."

This time it's both. Because I had never heard those words being thrown specifically at me, and because the reasoning for them has apparently been going on for eight long months.

Some people have the ability to deliver words with such an impact that they reach your subconscious and mutilate it so bad you're left wondering what the heck just happened. And the words hurt with such a force, that for a period of time (in my case, sixteen days later) they keep coming back to you, kicking your ass a little harder, because apparently the initial beat up wasn't enough.

And I cringe at the thought of the aftermath. The fact that there are still so many unanswered questions. To which, honestly, half of me doesn't want answers. Half of me just doesn't want to know more. I just wanna go to work, and do my job, which I happen to be good at (mainly because I've been there forever, but you know what I mean); get my paycheck and keep things strictly professional. And for sixteen days I've managed to do that.

The other half of me is broken. It's tired and beat, and it wants to be frozen up for a while so she doesn't feel anything.  I want to know why this has been going on for eight months. Why was I not approached about this when it happened, or at least right after it happened; why the silence, the exclusion, the avoidance, the anti-bandage-ripping attitude that made me wonder so many nights what on Earth I did wrong. Does someone really deserve to live a lie for eight months, when she has proven to be open minded enough that you can tell her anything, because her skin is so ridiculously thick that, through it all, she will be OK?

I've said some rude things, I won't lie. But at the time, with the utmost honesty, I didn't realize they were rude. This is who I am, I push the envelope, I empower people to think big, to get their truths to their face and embrace who they are. To simply grow a pair, and to be able to take criticism. This world was made for the ready, for heaven's sake, not for the weak. And the people I'm with most of my time should already have figured out that I'm harmless. Yes, I may shock you with what I have to say, but it's only because I want you to be better, I KNOW you can be better. And it's none of my business, I was told. Guess what? If I consider you my friend, it is my business. I want nothing more than the best for you, and if I know you can be better for yourself and inspire those around you, and be as strong and beautiful as you can, I will find a way to tell you.

But apparently everything I've said around a specific clique has been taken in the worst way possible. My words and actions have been turned and I have been seen in a very unflattering light. I've been portrayed as manipulative, conniving, plotting, you name it, that was me. I feel like nothing I can do at this point can fix this. All I can do is apologize, hope that the wall they have probably formulated in their minds has at least a small window in it that I can at least leave my side of the story bundled up beside, waiting to be heard and believed.

When I discuss the issue with friends that know the matter, I'm inevitably told the same thing. "Let that rubbish go, you don't need to prove yourself to anyone. You have your friends that know who you are, and if these people have a preconceived notion of who you are, nothing that you say will change that". "They're not worse, but they're not better than you, either. They've probably said things about us, too, and they're most likely not stressing out about this in the least."

But I'm not one to just not care. I believe in the power of clarity, of closure and of acceptance. If I can as much as show at least one of these people, which I happen to respect for who they are, that above all else I never meant to make this personal or make to make them feel excluded afterward, or even so much as that my intentions have never had an ulterior motive, that'll be enough for me. And who knows, maybe they'll get and keep something positive from it too.

I know I'll never get answers to questions that have lingered for so long, and I'll figure out a way to make my peace with it. But it hurts. It hurts with an intensity, that I can't help but believe I must have been a VERY bad person in my previous life, and I'm paying for it harshly in this one. I've tried to confront, and to clear things up, and have had the opportunity denied to me like a door shut in my face on so many occasions. If this has been going on for eight months because of a series of misunderstandings, it would crush me. But I'll never know.

Eight months... Unbelievable. In the end, I assure you, I'd rather be called a drama-queen, than a coward. "This too shall pass.", they say. I'm sure it's correct. I just hope that by the time it does, no one's left wondering if what they did was right. Or wondering if they just threw away one of the greatest friendships they could ever have, all because they decided to keep quiet.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pesky, Little Bubble

One of my newest friends, who happens to live in a very far away land, taught me something last week. Most of my so called friends live "stuck in a bubble". They can't see past their own problems, happenings, and overall lives.

The only reason my new friend can be so sure about this, given he doesn't know the rest of my friends, is that it's unfortunately way too common these days. The monster that is egotistical social media, along with everyday undeserved praise, making everything "about me", and that newfound courage you inevitably get when you hit a certain age and all of a sudden you feel like you can take over the world in a second, can really take its toll on an otherwise super interesing personality.

We are, by virtue or defect, living in the era where Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other hazardous chemicals have made it its focal point to legitimately have their users perform those virtual screams of "Look at me!", "Read my status!", "Listen to the point I have to make!", or even "I don't really have a point, or something good to say at the moment,  or really anything positive to contribute to society, but look at the annoying shape I can make with my mouth while I'm taking a selfie! That takes talent!".

Now, don't think I'm up on a condescending horse here, for I too have experienced being virtually egocentric. You're looking at the proof. This blog used to have a good two hundred followers, and it used to be the center of my life. The fact that people moved on to Facebook and all the other aforementioned ventures, doesn't make me immune to the fact I was once wrapped up in a bubble that was far less than noticeable by me at the time. People went from wanting to read, to wanting to be read, and that's very much OK.

So why am I bringing it up? Why state the obvious when it seems like it's only getting worse, and why even bother to write these words, if my followers are no longer there?

It's simple, and twofold: first, I didn't start blogging with the hopes of becoming a "blogstar". It soothed me, relaxed me and it still does. Second, I do have strong hopes that my friends who do take a second to exit their pesky, little bubbles, and enter this passive-aggressive situation I'm describing, do it in a way that makes them understand that at some point we need to think big.

There are wars going on in the world. There are people dying every day, for reasons we wouldn't even be able to BEGIN to understand, because we're just so stuck in what's happening a mere mile around us. You can call me uptight, you can call me "Debbie-Downer", and you can keep saying I'm "getting way too serious" for you, but the same way life is too short to worry about the (apparently) inevitable, life is too short not to. There's a time to have fun, and to make it all about me, but there's also a time to learn, to become aware, to know what's happening in this home we were given.

Egoism is strong, but not necessarily powerful. Not when we're accomplishing nothing. Maybe you'll read this, raise an eyebrow, like me a little less and close this window, because after all, you don't need anyone to tell you what you're doing wrong, because let's face it, you can do no wrong. Can you?

But maybe, just maybe, you'll start to realize it's not all about you, it's time to think big, and if you can't physically give anything back, at least give it your thoughts. After all, the world put them there. And that's what's truly powerful.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need go find a nice, thick needle. Time to pop this sucker into oblivion and live just a little harder.