Cinco Dias: Reality Check

When life gets real hard, or I feel like I’m limbo, or overwhelmed I can’t organize my thoughts into a cohesive post.

I want to write, but I hold back. I feel:

Dramatic. Ridiculous. Uninspired.

I’m my biggest critic. I criticize every post I type, to the point that I hinder authenticity at times.

Mostly my circumstances recently have made me feel:

Frustrated. Guilty. Childish. Like One who Lacks Faith.

The Cancerian in me wants to crawl into my crabby shell and come back out with more confidence. More than half of the time, I write to inspire myself. To soothe my worrywart mentality, to remind myself that I’m not the first or the last to transition to a new city, to push myself to have a better outlook when things aren’t going according to my schedule.

I won’t sit here and brag like I’m the most positive person ever. God’s still working on me.

I call myself a realist, which in my eyes is the happy medium to between an optimist and pessimist. But time and time again, I get the same test of faith. And I fail in my eyes.

This past week in my new city has taken me up and down. I’m over the honeymoon stage, I did realize that much.

My first encounter with this City happened on the eve of my 24th birthday. I was in a serious relationship then, younger, in a dead-end job that was barely paying me enough to take 2 week vacations that left me wanting more. But I was working towards goals, so that kept me going.

Initially, I got really good feelings and vibes from this place. There’s lots of culture, history, and growth happening.

I still feel that way.

Me, at 23

Today, the good vibes are still in the air. Although I want to fast forward through this time known as graduate school, I know that this discipline, time and commitment is for my own good.

Like the motto from the last post: No one said it would be easy… but I have no doubt it’s worth it.

Being out of my comfort zone has also opened my eyes to other truths.

If someone happens to ask me for the time, I am inclined to shake my head and say “Sorry, I don’t have it.”

When I get off the metro and walk on the sidewalk in certain neighborhoods, I’m holding my clutch purse to my person and walking purposely and rapidly.

I will probably never enjoy listening to music in my headphones traveling at night.

I will think twice when I wear my flashy little watch, especially at night.

Purchasing mace online is on my To Do List.

Call me paranoid, or someone who’s OD-ing. This is City life sometimes. I take safe over sorry any day.

So Life, I have no idea where you are taking me for the next 2 years. But I’m gonna keep walking. And when I can’t walk anymore, I’m going to TRUST that He will carry me.




Cinco Dias: Reality Check

Father’s Day Acknowledgment

“Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important.”                                                                                   -President Barack Obama

Father’s Day was a day that usually went unnoticed in my house, as did in many households where a woman was commander-in-chief. Tomorrow, it might not be surprising that among expected trending words like #daddy, #father, and #dad, we might see #mom rise up in numbers as some self-proclaimed Super Moms get praise from their children or give themselves credit for raising their children all alone. Don’t you just love reading those? I want to wish myself a Happy Father’s Day ’cause I make miracles every Thanksgiving!

I think my mom did a damn good job raising me but I never felt the need to thank her for being mom and dad or acknowledge her on Father’s Day, because quite frankly, only a man can be a father. That’s not to come at same-sex households, but I always wondered how a woman can raise a boy to be something she’s never been herself?

But I’m getting off topic here. I don’t want to focus on absentee fathers, same-sex parenting,  or single motherhood; I just want to tell you my story.

For a long time, I felt that whenever the time came for me to get married, I wouldn’t ask my father to walk me down the aisle. That would be my way of hurting him, embarrasing him for not being there for me as a child. I battled long and hard trying to convince myself that he didn’t deserve that honor. That it would hurt my mother to see him beaming down the aisle, ‘giving’ me away when really he shouldn’t be given any credit for raising me. Anger and resentment had accumulated for the years that he so easily let pass. For example, my teenage years, when I wore low cut shirts and was starved for a man to tell me ‘I love you’ and not expect anything in return. Or when I felt my mother was being unreasonably strict or paranoid by not allowing me to go to dances or the prom; I longed for someone to balance her character out. There are countless examples of when I distinctly remember thinking it would have been nice to have a father around. But I can’t dwell on the past anymore.

At this age, I have to say that although my father hasn’t been there for most of my childhood, he’s shown up in 2 instances in my life that were vital. No, that won’t replace the emotional absence, the lack of genuine connection, the many milestones that have come and go, but it still shows that he’s put some effort forth. And I accept that. I don’t want to go through life mourning a father figure who’s not dead. I’m not making excuses for him, but the fact is he’s just not the type of father I expected him to be. And maybe he never will be.

Look up papi, say cheese!

I’ve always hidden behind the excuse that he’s the father and I’m the child, he should make more effort. That doesn’t hold up so much now that I’m an adult as well. I believe one way to measure maturity is the big F word: Forgiveness. It doesn’t mean I still don’t think about the kind of woman I would’ve been being raised with 2 parents, and it doesn’t mean I don’t worry about my kids having a relationship with abuelito (grandpa). What it does mean is that I don’t try to retaliate in a way that will only beget more hurt. Keeping my father out of my wedding will ultimately hurt me more than anyone else. I’ve resolved instead to change my perspective. To react in a way that may not make sense to most people; I’m going to accept my father for who he is presently, and stop judging him for who he hasn’t been. I believe that’s what God requires of all of us at some point in life.

So there you have it folks, my open letter on Father’s Day.

What perspective-changing lesson have you learned from your father (absent or present)?


She Traces

Father’s Day Acknowledgment