Monday, December 3, 2012

a new reality.

I wrote this almost nine months ago, after dropping my little bit off for the first overnight visit with my estranged spouse.

Funny how this memory feels like a lifetime ago, but the pain of it is ever at my fingertips. It never fades.

Such is a mother's love.
My dearest little one,

I just dropped you off with your father for the very first time less than one hour ago.

Regardless that I realize this is the best decision for both you and I, there is no denying that my world will never be the same.

I have loved you more than I have loved even myself since the day I knew you were on your way. It has been 18 months, 3 weeks and one day since I have been separated from you more than just a few hours on the outside. Add pregnancy to that and it has been almost 2 ½ years.

I will never be able to explain to you how long it took me to get here, to this place where the greater good for both of us is to have you spend timely separately with both your father and I, but I trust that one day you will realize that your mami did what was best. That your mami protected you until the end of the Earth, and that she will continue to do so with an unprecedented ferocity until the end of time.

You deserve everything I have had in my life and so much more. I have already denied you a complete nuclear family, but I hope you will never understand that our was family never that, that what mami wanted so much to give you from the very beginning was always a few eggs short of a dozen.
What I wish for you in the future is health and happiness. You have all of my love. I hope that one day I can provide you with an example of a genuine, healthy, love-filled blended family. As much as I think that you will on more than one occasion be disappointed with your father, the goodness in me hopes that for your sake I am wrong. That maybe, just maybe, for you he will change. Unfortunately for me, I have 7 years of proof that he has not, but I can only hope that he learns how to love outside of himself, for you. Of course, this is where the human mommy side of me chirps that it will be better for me if he doesn’t, because obviously I want your deliciousness, your sweetness, your smell and smiles and straight-from-the-moon kisses all for me, but that is beside the point.
For you, I hope that it is different, that he is different. I hope that he learns from this.

I don’t know that you will ever read this. I don’t know if I can ever let you read this. I don’t ever want to be to blame for negative feelings about your father. I want you to know that you were, and are, the best thing that has ever happened to me, and that every millimeter of you is sheer and absolute perfection. Words cannot do justice for my love for you; and even now, as I know in the back, center and front of my mind that you are not here, as every cell in my body aches for you to tug at my hip saying “Uppa!”, I still  manage to look up at My So-Called Life reruns on TV and for a split second think that you are sleeping and I should turn it down.

Old habits die hard.
I love you to the ends of the Earth and back. Mami te quiero muuucho y GRAAAAANDE.
Besitos de pececito,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Living out loud. It belongs in all capital letters because, well, anyone who has ever felt they were happiest - meant to really - live out loud, knows that it would only befit the scenario that it belong in all capital letters. Except, of course, for those times where we are in a slightly insecure place, maybe a tad vulnerable, in those moments where we are not so sure that LOL is the right thing, the true thing, the best way for us. It is in those moments where we lol. Purposely. Intentionally lower-case lol, so as to apply somewhat of a mute button to our natural state. So as to make sure that our lol doesn’t scream at our friends, our loved ones, the public; so they will know that we are really trying not to push onto them our exaggerated LOL, but that we don’t exactly know how.

In these moments, lol is the best we can do.


Moving on.



My parents have a way of pushing my buttons in a way that no one else in the world can. It is first and foremost due to the fact that they created those buttons, but also because they’ve gotten to know them the best over the course of a lifetime. They assisted in the harvesting and maturing of said buttons, and now know how to push them without even trying. In their sleep. And, since my parents’ sole purpose in life is to love me, and convince me that they have learned absolutely every life lesson in their combined 146 years while simultaneously passing these lessons on at inopportune and unwarranted moments, this leaves me an anxiety-ridden, yoga deep-breathing, mess of an individual LOLing throughout their visit, all the while insisting they stay longer.


It all involves a LOT of screaming.

And huffing. And sighing.


And that’s just the genetic portion. We’re Cuban. I have no inside voice.


Regardless, my parents were here over the holiday weekend, and each visit with them leaves me reeling with exhaustion and yearning to have them close-by.

I, however, am going through what I would call a high-conflict divorce, which makes that nearly impossible. None of the details really matter, except that it will NEVER end. Never. The conflict being thrown at me – outright, silently, passive-aggressively, in front of our child – all of it will be ongoing over the course of my life as a parent. It is tragic, really, to be faced with such a dismal outlook, but it is quite the contrary for me. It is the exact outlook I need to convince my hopeful, optimistic, self of, in order to fully free myself. The moment I truly lose hope, give up my desire, my wish, my hope that things will change, that somehow, somewhere out there (cue Linda Rondstadt), there exists a shred of reason or decency that will find its way to my estranged spouse and permeate his being, even if only for a nanosecond, is the moment that I give my conscious the right to let go of any guilt I may be holding on to for defending myself, for having an opinion different from his, for not giving in.


It is the moment I will truly Live.


So I am going into this upcoming mediation, this chance at closure, compromise, cooperation, with outwardly no hope at all. Inside, though, that Little-Engine-That-Could is huffing and puffing and I-Think-I-Can-ing away…all the while holding out the secret hope that something even remotely good could possibly, maybe, happen. It is times like these when I need my friends, my parents.

Also, wine.

I know when I come out of that conference room, that office, that building, into that vast city, that concrete parking garage, that SUV with the toddler-seat in the back.

I will break.

I will break for all of the expecting-the-worsts, for all of the no-hope scenarios I have run through, for all of the preparation I have done to convince all of me that I will leave there knowing nothing more about the future than when I went in. I will break for the part of me that wishes I had fallen in love with someone different. The part of me that still wishes she could change him, make him somehow human, empathetic. But that part of me is the part that still wants to “be married”. Doesn’t matter to who (well, let’s be honest, that’s a lie), but in order to validate myself somehow, in order to “be” a success.

And although that part of me grows smaller with the passage of time, all of these milestones, benchmarks, steps in the divorce process, whatever label you want to put on each of them, rub this healing wound the wrong way. Draw just enough fresh blood out to make it real, to remind me that the underlying hope is still there.

You know, I’m not in any way saying I want to be numb during or to this process. It is really an awakening period of self-discovery, another adolescence of sorts (equipped with much more freedom, happy hour, and the potential for much funner mistakes, really (YES, I just used the word funner)), but it has been close to one year since this process began, and over a year since I have been working through this on my own, and I am exhausted.

I am a planner. I like to know. Even if the knowing ruins things for me, which it oftentimes does. As a child, I was notorious for removing the tape from Christmas presents with such care that my parents did not suspect a thing, solely to confirm that I got that Barbie car I wanted. Or, when given the opportunity by my best friend to be told of my gift before even receiving it, I take it. I have no shame. The surprise is equally as satisfying to me. Or at least that is what I tell myself.

So. As this process, this rebirth, is happening, I am trying – don’t laugh, I wrote it in Italics for a reason, this is HARD – to change how I do things, react to things, in order to learn these valuable life lessons, these gems that God is placing in my lap with a handwritten note that says “PAY ATTENTION”.

But only to the point where it doesn’t affect my LOL.

Because that God, if I know him the way I think I do, He loves my LOL. Loves Me just as I Am. He would Never want to know that I am muting myself, subduing my reactions, emotions, and the hard-wiring that was given and designed by His very self.


 And He, that omnipotent spiritual powerhouse, He made me an optimist.


So I will continue to try and prepare myself as best as I can for what is most likely sure to be disappointment, I will warn my family, my friends, that I may need some uplifting when I inevitably feel so small that evening, so blind as to what my future holds, so tired.


One thing, though. One thing is for certain.

I will continue to Live Out Loud. Without shame, with only occasional reservation (you know, in libraries and such), and with the gift of His Grace.

And my future, regardless of where I am, what I do, and who I’m with, it holds Happiness.


Now there’s something worth capitalizing.

Monday, November 12, 2012

one of those mornings.


Everyday. Especially today, but everyday.

God gives us only what we can handle, right?

Friday, November 9, 2012

in this moment...

This holiday season, I'm thankful for being where I am, who I am, and how I am, in this very minute. I trust that I am in the place that God wants me to be, and that His will is being carried out each day, regardless of whether I understand or am privy to what that is or where it is leading.

I have faith. Faith is intangible, it is immeasurable, invisible.

It is enough.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I can’t help thinking that the reason I surround myself with strong women is in the hopes that I will eventually become one, if only by osmosis.

Then I take a step back, and my logic kicks in and tells me I am already strong, that I’m one of them. But since my heart and my brain are often at odds, my heart pipes up and says, “Remember how you cried while watching The Muppets?” And I nod my head in agreement. I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. It’s not like my tear ducts will ever know a drought. They try to build up a stock pile, but then my 2-year-old will thank God for her mami during her bedtime prayers, and Bam! Tears.

Or she’ll throw a blood-curdling tantrum because I refuse to remove my shoes at her request.

Same reaction.

When I’m faced with a situation in my life that I want to avoid, I do other things. I exercise, eat, I shop, I dance. All errands are suddenly no big deal. Everything except the exact thing that is uncomfortable for me. I’m a procrastinator. The difficulty for me is to face that situation head on, breathe into the discomfort, and evaluate life from a different angle in order to right the situation, find the answers, or work towards the solutions that I’m looking for. Achieve happiness or die trying.

A yoga teacher rubbed my back during a forward fold the other day and I felt the all-too-familiar tightening in my gut and welling of tears in the back of my throat. There is something about taking a new class, a new flow, the break in familiar routine, and simple human touch that brings up all sorts of new emotions along with the blood flow. But there is no way to avoid it. I’m there. I paid. Unless I’m willing to walk out, which I refuse, I’m stuck. Trying new positions, exploring new physical limits, even looking at a room from a different angle than I am accustomed to - upside down between twisted arms while holding my ankles - it is all a challenge. A challenge I have no other choice but to work through, breathe into. One I need to face head on.

It is in coming out of those new contortions that I feel a little dizzy, light-headed. Still reeling from the blood and oxygen and sweat that my body is busy circulating and breathing and producing, I can feel the answers I’ve made happen and, whether it was perfect or not, I’m proud that I tried. I feel so focused, at peace…strong.

In that quiet moment, my heart whispers.

Maybe I’m one of them after all.

Maybe we all are.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

sharing is caring

Maybe one day, the way I was built to endure this world will make sense to me. The way some of us were wired to live through this cruel and beautiful and bittersweet life will all come together.

And some days it doesn’t.

I always wonder why sometimes it just feels too hard.


My best friend, so many of my friends, actually, were built like a Ford (or is it a Chevy? I can never remember): tough, like a rock. They let everything roll of their back. Other people, others were built in my often-desired state: blissful ignorance. Content where they are, with what they have, seemingly without a care as to what else is out there.

Me, I can’t take a pee without over analyzing it. That state of calm, peace, stillness, that I do yoga for…well, that is the reason that I do yoga. My mind doesn’t rest. It is always wondering, thinking, feeling. So much so that it sometimes drives me bananas. Other times…other times I own it, live it, love it. I find it to be what I think of as authentic me, endearing about myself, the fact that I can complicate anything and simultaneously make life a breeze by looking at the bright side, the fact that dropping my cell phone in the toilet has me deep-breathing through an anxiety attack, but that my dad getting a triple bypass has me calm and collectedly easing everyone’s concerns.

I want to live in those other times. I always want to live in those other times. The problem is, those other times, the times where I DO so that I don’t THINK, those times my coping is out of whack, which leaves my psyche out of whack.  Only I haven’t realized, until now really, that it is exactly the reason why I DO: to quiet my brain. So that the hamster stops running for a little while, so that the wheel stops turning long enough for him to eat something and get some rest. (Clearly, the hamster is a He. Only something with an additional appendage would be this big a pain-in-the-ass). Other times, I am so busy doing that I end up ignoring my own burning need to feel, to think, to exist, really. It is just another way of falling out-of-balance; the same way that feeling and not doing leaves me…well, feeling out-of-balance.

I know the moral here is to find a way to stay in the middle, to find the moderation in letting my mind, my body, and my heart, each take their turn at running things around here, but how is that done? Has anyone, ever, really accomplished that? Does anyone, ever, really have it together all the time? Because it sure feels like I don’t, so it all begins again. The cycle of letting one versus the other run the show. Because then I look at my friends, my neighbors, my family (well, let’s be honest – not my family…we are all the way we are for a reason, right?) and think, “Wow, they have it all together. They know when to step back, get some perspective.” And then I wonder where my balance, my perspective, has gone. Then I can’t embrace, own, or even snuggle with my own nature because how can I love something that doesn’t know how to keep balanced?!? Everyone I know is balanced. Even the neighbors can keep balanced. Who wants to snuggle and get cozy with something that keeps kicking you?

Yup. Just like I told my best friend. Me?? Not dramatic…at all. (Which I bet you completely guessed by my lack of italics use, no?)

So what, you say, is the purpose of putting this down on paper? Probably none, really. However, from experience I can say that hearing or reading that someone else, even one person out there, feels the same way even for a moment, it helps me. It makes me feel less like a hamster on a wheel and more like a hamster that is part of a family of hamsters. The ones you see in PetSmart frolicking in their cages, waiting for the right child to wander in and con a parent into buying them. The ones with friends who actually want to take turns on the wheel with them. It make me feel less alone; more on the inside and less on the outside of life.

And THAT. That feeling, on days like this, is worth sharing. Even if there is only one other hamster in my cage.

the why.

Writing makes me happy. Music makes me happy. Yoga makes me happy.

So I write, sing, and practice. I'm afraid of failing at all of the above, but who doesn't want to be happy? Is the risk worth it?

These are my rumblings.