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!!
Yan DLC
10/26/2014.-

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
09/25/2014.-

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.

Mami
08/27/2014.-

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Drama-Keen

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.

Yan
7/27/2014.-

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.

YDLC
7/21/2014.-

Sunday, January 19, 2014

This Old Knot

Stress is such a waste of time. I mean, seriously, what's the point? If it has a solution, why worry about the issue? And on the other hand, if it has no solution, once again, why worry?

It's like we're programmed to lose our hair (or have it  turn gray) over everything. Lack of money, lack of space, lack of privacy, lack of sex. There's a worry for each one of us, and it's bound to occupy our minds whether we like it or not. And no, gutter-heads, I don't have that last one!

I had this teacher in college, Professor Luis Santana, that would say he was actually able to decide what he was going to worry about, and when. If he had to have a nasty conversation on Monday morning, he wouldn't worry about it until that Monday morning. If he had a tedious ordeal to handle on Thursday afternoon, he didn't prep for it until Thursday morning.

I found it exquisitely amazing. And have always wanted to be able to do that. It's the epiphany of using logic. Not letting emotions take over you, not paying mind to the things that simply don't deserve it, not going insane over something that will resolve itself with time.

To have control over my thoughts, group them up and put them where they won't bother anyone, and decide when to ponder about them... is such a beautiful dream. A dream that someday I want to turn into reality.

Someday I want to get rid of this knot in my throat that's just so darned tight. I wanna be able to accept problems and decide if they're worth my sleep, my hunger and my above all, my tranquility. I want to show my brain that it doesn't rule me, that it's the other way around. That positivity can actually exist within me, and that I can portray it in my actions. I wanna be able to laugh at problems, challenges and issues, just like I have no problem laughing at myself.

This is beginning to sound like a sappy mantra. Sorry about that! Back to basics. One of my biggest flaws has always been worrying about people that are perfectly fine. In other words, don't need me to worry about them. And in even better words, haven't the slightest interest or consideration in the fact that I worry about them. And in the latest establishment on the issue, have been rude responding to my worry. It hurts, but in the grand scheme of things, what really can I do but stop worrying and hope for the best? What can I do but know about them drinking into oblivion, put their life in the hands of God, and hope that some day they realize that all I ever wanted was their happiness?

At what point do I just back off and realize that I'm no one important in this person's life? At least not important enough that there would be some sort of two way street when it comes to basic communication? Why invest my worry in someone that clearly doesn't deserve it?

So many questions I'll probably never have the answers to. But so little I can do about it. I need to know what the absence of worry is about, really embrace it, detach myself from a senseless friendship. Let go of someone who just plain doesn't need me anymore. And deal with the stress as best as I can.

This is something I think I've never done before. At least, not with a friendship that got to possess so much intensity. Maybe I'll write about it again. Maybe my reaction will make things change. All I know is I'll never feel this way again. And I shouldn't. No one should have to stress about something as beautiful as friendship. I've already lost too much time.

Yani DLC
02/24/2014.-

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Poisonous Silence

It stings. It feels like I have seven hundred bees injecting their poison into each one of my veins, repeatedly. Like if a Mack truck decided to run over my knees, over and over again. It hurts like nothing I've experienced in a very long time.

It burns. It feels like I'm slowly walking along the hallways of a burning house, feeling the flames piercing my skin, excruciatingly tearing off my face. Feeling my lungs get inundated with that deadly smoke. Feels like it won't stop.

It insists. Just when I think it'll get a little better, it makes me remember, and it hits me harder than before. It reminds me that it can be stronger than me. It convinces me that it's bigger than me. That I can't possibly get rid of it. That it'll do with me whatever it wants.

It is here. It will not go away any time soon. It will make its house in the edge of one of my ribs, and just tighten, and strain, and break me, and be as painful as it can be. It will have no mercy of me. It'll laugh straight at my face whenever I think I can forget it.

It's trapped. It has found a home in my soul and taken over. And it will last forever. Not with the same strength always, but it will frequently show up to flaunt its power. It'll never really leave. It's a part of me now. And I will never know another pain comparable to this, ever.

It will make me stronger. Just like everything else. Yet I will be weak for a long time. Because I became a slave to this twisted dream. But it was my dream. It will never be a nightmare, because it's too beautiful to be called that.

It makes me weak. And it'll make me strong. It changed me, and I will never be the same. It passed the test of time, but not the test of circumstance. It is mine, but I'll never have it. It's what I'm made of, but I'll never embrace it. It's what I want, but not what I need.

It will not be resolved, because it's not a problem. It will not be measured, because I could never show it in full effect. It will never spread its wings... Because it never learned to fly.

It hurts, but it's mine, right? I can't die of this, correct? A body in pain can still live, can't it? A burned soul will still find it's place in this sick world, won't it?

This sweet, gentle poison of seven hundred bees traveling through me... It can't possibly kill me...

... Can it?