The Great Depression

Lost in the abyss of decisions, years of trying to make something, hell, anything work, sucking it up, being patient for love, trying to find meaning and healing after the loss of it, recovering from years of physical pain, pursuing short-term dreams that often end in longer-term disappointment….I now find myself in a sea of overwhelmed-ness. I pray for God to show up, to grant me mercy, to say something…but I am met with silence. Some claim the answers are inside of me, waiting for me to have a self-revelation, but if that is true, then they are buried deep, on lock-down, with a lost key hanging out with ghosts, like it’s some sort of haunted treasure box from Pirates of the Caribbean. Some say to pray more, others to love myself more. “Gotta let that shit go.” But I have found that all of the people who tell me these things are people who have someone to fall back on, someone they’re building a future with, someone to hold them close when their tears weigh more than quarters. And so I say (in my head) ….you don’t understand.

I feel too young to be going through this type of middlescent crisis. Hope and happiness are like a small bird in my hand that want to fly away. I seem to have lost my ability to hold onto it. Every time I think I’ve got a grasp on things, the strength escapes me.

So what do you do when the load-bearing walls in your life fall down? I can’t build a new home on my own, and God seems to be sitting this one out for some reason. I seem to be resistant to lessons…because all of the recent let downs just seem to be reiterations of previous lessons…and I am left feeling like a skeptic.

Pursuit, pensamientos and Peru

I have been too in my own head these past few days. On a daily basis I go back and forth between going back to Texas or staying here in Lima another week or two. My question is this: what difference would it really make? Here I am starting to feel anxious and too in my own head, sometimes rather lonely…every now and then even scared….like who would take care of me if something happened? Who can I cry to that’s strong enough to be there for me? Back home I felt crazy b/c I wanted to get away from Dallas and the stagnancy I felt there. Is this really a matter of choosing between two painful ideas? And why am I deciding that either has to be painful?  Going to Dallas doesn’t mean staying there.

I really need to make a decision before I lose my marbles. I’ve felt ill since Saturday/Sunday and it’s not letting up yet. It could be anything from stress to food to mold to God knows what. I just want to be free from this…all the pain and uncertainty.

Post Peru

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Two weeks in Peru was rather life changing. I very much enjoyed my time there, with our little jungle family, my best friend, novio, and the medicine men. I was happy to finally be taking serious, geographical, gastronomical action to improve my health. I enjoyed doing the dieta (despite being hungry for 10 days), the lack of electricity, not wearing makeup or fixing my hair, having minimal belongings, having meals cooked for us, some sweet moments with Der, the adorable cafe Ash and I went to twice where we were able to just be best-friend silly and talk about our dreams. There were certainly things I did not enjoy….like multiple arguments with the boy, getting eaten alive by bugs in the bungalow, my inability to calm my mind, some of the eternal nights. It was NOT easy! Which made it even that much more worth it. I started to really feel better by the end of the trip and my appetite trickled back to me.

Coming back to the states has been hard b/c I feel very sensitive to crowds and noise and mainstream anything. Even now, 5 weeks later, I miss the quiet jungle, the candlelit bungalow, the sound of the river and tiny monkeys swinging through the trees. I miss the fresh papaya juice, ceviche, juanes, taximotos, hearing and speaking Spanish, how my skin glowed and hair waved. I miss the simplicity of it all. I’m really struggling being back also b/c I do not want to live here anymore. I have zero desire to be in this city. I broke up with the novio, which despite being terribly sad and terrifying, has been somewhat like releasing an anchor that I didn’t even realize I had. I don’t know exactly when that relationship went from being supportive and uplifting to toxic. In any case, it has been fuel to the fire in my desire to leave.

Peru was so much of what I needed and I ache to go back. I believe that my broken wings started to mend there, and I am eternally grateful.

Men & Mopachos

When I turned 18 years old, I bought some cigarettes and smoked for 2 weeks straight. I used to sit on my balcony and puff away. I was feeling rebellious and betrayed. I quit after getting a canker sore on the inside of my mouth. Ever since then, I’ve smoked two or three a year, mostly  in my early twenties with Ash by the park near our house.

12 years later, while in the jungle in Peru with my then-novio, I started smoking again, with perhaps too much free time on my hands. And to be honest, feeling once again a bit rebellious and now I must admit it’s rebellion mixed with betrayal and heartache. Mopachos are pure Amazonian tobacco so I suppose I feel a little less guilty, knowing they’re not as toxic as regular cigarettes. Smoking makes me take deep breaths in and long breaths out. I blow the smoke out and with it goes my stress, my tension, my negativity. I look forward to it. Somehow it’s become a bit like a short, nonverbal therapy session.

smoking

 

Packing for Peru

Welcome to the jungle

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In exactly one week I will be on a plane to Peru. While this initially freaked me out and took over a week of convincing and calming down, I am now much more accepting. Every trip will have its challenges, but I think it’s important to not focus on what could go WRONG, but rather, what could go RIGHT. But as any trip I ever take, it’s always better to not have specific expectations. As my aunt told me 10 years ago while setting out on my first trip abroad, let it be your oyster.

Jump a little higher

Take a break, take a nap, let it go, don’t give a crap. Stop listening to everyone else and just …go in the direction your internal compass is telling you to go. This…is my own self motivation.

Dallas has sucked me in deep and I’m living in the pit of its belly, too lost to even recognize what a ladder or stairs look like anymore. It’s not only that I don’t know how to get out of here, it’s also that I don’t even know where to go. Dallas is a great city, but I’m not a great candidate to be living in it. I feel like I have been wearing someone else’s clothing for 3 years and it is not me at all.

I dare myself….to make a leap, and find the way out.

play pretend

I got over it..slowly but surely. I quit the habits that were feeding into the negativity…the chronic pain. Sometimes, stability is a word that’s substituted for accepted insanity.

I never wanted to keep that job and I knew it shortly after the beginning. Over the summer, I took a risk and did something I enjoyed. It reminded me that it’s possible to feel that way again.  It kick-started my motivation and it showed me I could do it again. I packed up my things, got rid of the excess, and got on the plane. I moved to a healing center and found more than myself. I admitted the truth and quit telling myself lies. I forgave others and I even forgave myself…for it all.

La vida flipped over

Dear Universe,

I have passed the 2 year re-entry mark of my return from Spain to America. During this time, I have scrambled to find answers, to dig deep, to not be part of the crowd, to keep my faith, to keep my sanity. I have quit jobs, I have failed, I have dusted myself off time and time again….and I’m not sure where it all has led me to. I may have an income now, but I have lost so much peace in pursuit of a paycheck, in pursuit of something I once perceived as steady…because the only thing that is steady these days is my lack of health. I have seen multiple doctors, medical and natural, and although I have recovered a bit, I am still waiting…still wondering. Has my 2 year search caused me this chaos? Have I wavered for too long in uncertainty, stress and fear of the unknown that I have driven my health to hell? Or is it some mystery that I am meant to unveil? I sometimes wonder if I just up and left if my pain would disappear, but then I remember the international flights I’ve taken over the past 2 years, where I came back worse for wear. What’s a girl to do?

I look back on my years in Spain and think, wow, I had it SO easy then and yet I often found myself walking around under a cloud. I know I am a melancholic person, but if only I could have appreciated it more at the time. So much of me wishes I could go back and relive those days, relive being healthy and less guarded towards the world. I miss the life I created, the life that created itself around me. Maybe that’s why part of me wants to go back…to remember that brave soul that flew across the world…to remember that girl who didn’t let fear get in the way of a dream. I used to get angry with people who made excuses for not following their heart, and now I am a woman, contradicting my own self. These days, I am not the poet, I am the period. And I have to figure out how to find myself again, how to find that soul again, how to be brave again, how to pop open the bag of dreams and eat the whole damn bag.

Europe, I miss you

I miss the white dusty architecture, cleaned by the morning sun. The sidewalk cafes and bars, filled with people of every age. I miss hearing castellano roll off Spanish tongues, smelling cafe con leche and toast from their morning breakfast.

I miss the sound of morning cathedral bells and trains pulling into the station. I miss sitting by the window, any window, staring out into a world that was maybe never my permanent destiny.

I miss the laid-back current that rolled through the streets like a year-round spring breeze, that almost everyone possessed. No pasa nada, no pasa nada, no pasa nada. It’s no big deal. I started to believe them. I was good at taking it easy. I was good at taking long coffee breaks and strolling through history. Now my desk drowns in never-ending, incomplete tasks, no time for even a snack or a bathroom break. America is a squeezed out sponge, it takes every gotita from you. It demands every damn drop and no one can really explain why. Why it is demanded and why it is done.

It all brings me back, to my humble little life, venturing through cobble-stoned calles, caught between two worlds, wanting to keep the best of both, but always knowing, that wherever I go, I would have to create the balance all of my own, shaking off the cultural expectations that surround me.

Dreams, Decaf and Steinbeck

“When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ships’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, I don’t improve; in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself.

When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good and sufficient reason for going. This to the practical bum is not difficult. He has a built-in garden of reasons to chose from. Next he must plan his trip in time and space, choose a direction and a destination. And last he must implement the journey. How to go, what to take, how long to stay. This part of the process is invariable and immortal. I set it down only so that newcomers to bumdom, like teen-agers in new-hatched sin, will not think they invented it.

Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” -John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley