Missin’ u…

You know the hardest part about being a parent?  Not being able to keep your child with you 24/7s or be able to see them in a moment when you need to. It’s true, mothers can just look at their children and know when nothing in their world is right. When mothers are down, their children often pull them out of their funk. It’s an instant mood elevator to see the face of your babe. Their smiles, laughter and general silliness wakes your soul to look ahead. Even if you’re wondering just what the fuck they’re doing. As a working mother, this has been my gripe for days on end. If you didn’t think your mind was powerful, you can literally think your way into a major tragedy that puts your heart in a bind. You will literally hyperventilate at the thought that a predator might be eating your baby alive. Only to find out all is actually well and there is not a single need to panic. Children will teach you so much about yourself and your body. They will literally call your bluff when you’re voicing something different. The way you miss them makes you ache and seeing them lifts you high.

I used to think it was ridiculous when people would say ‘I just couldn’t leave my baby’. ‘What could be so great about them?’, I would think. Then I had my son and I got it. It 100% rips my heart out when I have to leave him. I literally want to fight myself for not being further ahead in life or better accomplished so that I could afford life at home with my son. Creatives that take the non-traditional route so that they can be home are goals to me. I want to scream every time I have a horrible thought or a bad piece of news cross my path and I can’t hold his hand or glance at what mischief he’s getting into. They are so pure, and give so much all the time. Children give you 100% of what you give to them. They have no filter and are the most genuine human beings you will ever encounter. They teach you how to live, question life and wonder about things that you’ve never thought of before. It is also why you can almost immediately tell when an adult wasn’t nurtured by love but raised to exist. They’re like green limp flowers, misunderstood and out of reason. In each stage, the babes give us life, whether we want it or not. I I could define it, the sound of my soul…is the laughter of children the world over….

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Outwitting The Devil….pt. 1

I didn’t seek therapy when I should have…

This was from advice that I can now assume was made based on fear. Now, when I find myself out of clarity, not able to focus; I reflect on my choices. This instantly plunges me into a depressive state. I used music in the past to help with my moods, but it hasn’t been enough to quiet my mind. This week has been a dragging for me and I find  myself not being able to focus a lot. I keep searching for enough to do to exhaust me, I keep busying myself with list on top of lists on top of lists.

Upon referral, I purchased and started reading ‘Outwitting The Devil’ by Napoleon Hill. The very first chapter made me want to burst into tears. ‘If you wish to be of enduring service, not only to those now living, but to posterity as well, you can do so if you will take the time to organize all of the causes of failure as well as all of the causes of success’. Further, as I quote, ‘My experience has taught me that a man is never quite so near success as when that which he calls ‘failure’ has overtaken him, for it is on occasions of this sort that he is forced to think….if he thinks accurately and with persistence, he discovers that so-called failure usually is nothing more than a signal to re-arm himself with a new plan or purpose.“

At my lowest, I learned to be extremely calculating and present. I most importantly learned how life can be at a minimum. What is important and what is definitely a luxury. At my lowest I saw myself as my own salve, needing to pull back the covers and emerge as a viable, productive member of society. There was a major failure under my belt, but with this came a start to completing my degree, re-employment at my favourite place in the world and a school opportunity for my son. While my grades suffer a bit due to working, I can’t afford to quit and not be able to pay my school fee or my son’s. Either way, at my lowest or at my biggest ‘failure’, I was forced out of my own way.

‘Men are forced to change their habits and to think their way out of difficulty.’…’I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.’….

The Evolution of 30….. 

I no longer search my mind for a connection with people
I no I am enough and no longer fight to fit in
I no longer obsess over catching it all and missing out
I limit my access to those around me and limit my mind space
I have found out that people don’t change
They are as their environment created them and will always hold that dear
I no longer seek to show people their ways
Nor do I fight for change in characters or space
My ‘NOs’ are definitive and firm
They are unmoved and secure.
I don’t care to pacify or sympathize in a lot of cases that would usually break me down
I hold people to their words and listen way more now, than before.
When you show me your ways once, It is cemented
Injustice and the severity of evil in this world is the only thing that brings me to my knees
I no longer hide myself
This is me, phenomenally.
Your approach to me will be controlled
Your language and texture will be filtered
Your vibe will be categorized and your interactions quantified
And noted
I’ve been on the edge of darkness, right where the silver line fades
I also lived within myself in earnest quest
I learned from the simplest of minds on how to live
I lifted my soul from the depths of despair and breathed new breaths
My self-care includes my life. My head. My figure, my mind and my core.
I can’t see me how you see me. I see me for me.
I give me, wholeheartedly
Bigots will only see you when they are at a loss.
They also always return to their ways.
Live fervently against the grain.
Fight breathlessly for your own identity
Never erase yourself
Stand embolden in your roots
At the end of the day, I’ve learn that ‘regard’ is expensive
Respect is not earned, it’s bestowed as first impressions last forever
Fairness is a fragile concept
We have been conditioned and indoctrinated to be one eye’s view
We don’t know that we must break free and live responsibly
Using our gut as our guide, doing what’s right to quiet our minds
As a mom I’ve learned to see people, watch their ways and build a shield
Your children are not safe in this world and people usually show themselves
Believe them and teach the confidence and strength it takes to be honest
Cowards should have no place in your circle, for they will cause destruction
If you were brought up in strictness and control, you will believe your oppressors
You are made to believe you are a not enough and will take this in your spirit everyday
You are. See that. Own it.
This is 30 for me. You cannot make me be. I am me.
Transparently.
Finances, family, fun and fortresses all look different
Stand in your journey and paint your own mosaic
Everything comes with perspective, accept your fights.
We were made to believe in a one-track journey and beat ourselves up when we fall from the percentile
The truth is that there are as many ways of life as there are living beings in this world
Break out of the ‘always done this way’
Leap into the ‘my own way’
Learn the importance of a closed mouth smile and practice self-reflecting when you receive one
What you cannot change, own
What you can, do, for you.
Strength is underestimated
Support is free
Love should never hurt
Live. When you look back, those evocative moments should be first and plentiful
Face your darkness and rebuild aggressively.
You are the most salient everything.

Assimilation….

I love observing immigrants. It is my weird thing. I just love their take on culture shock and seeing how they cope. They move with such caution, light footed. Their choices are so tied to so many things. It is almost a burden. We are so lucky to be in a country were compassion is natural response. As much as coming to this country was scary and had difficult moments surrounding navigating the systems in place; I cannot say migrating has been something to regret. I blame that solely on how I assimilated. Also, the birth of a Canadian-born child. You see, if you moved here with children from another country, they will be subdued and burdened with things a child shouldn’t. When you have a child in the country you migrated to, they almost seem to cruise through life. We find ourselves shaking our head at the simplicity and ease of my son’s life. This caused me to compare the resolve within that never truly let’s us settle. This isn’t our home, but it is his. He will never have to learn to assimilate and will naturally thrive in certain situations. This will be worse, once he goes through the various systems that span his life cycle.  No internal battle to attach himself to Canadian ways or to hold on to his ‘first culture’. A lot of immigrants become so stuck in their ‘first culture’, they refuse to adapt to the ways of their new world. Irresponsibly imparting certain views in a tolerant environment. Carelessly handling themselves in a way that makes them think their ‘first culture’ is an excuse. Recklessly throwing away all the sacrifices and investments made to pave the way. I say all this to say, assimilation is so important.

A lot of people think to leave their home country for a better life, but never check the culture of where they’re going. What is common place in the corporate world? How loose or strict are certain industries (of interest)? Something as simple as understanding what a ‘scent free’ environment is, knowing a sharp fragrance is a part of being fully dressed. You will have to go back to school. Period. Even to do a ‘small’ course. Are you open to learning and formal education again? Are you ok with ‘play-based’ learning for your children? The concept of free public schools may be new and seem like a relief, but can you accept limited say in your child’s education? If religious, how would you navigate the LGBT curricula that is taught in public schools? How would you handle private school tuition, knowing as an immigrant you won’t necessarily get a high-paying job right away? It is imperative to consider residences and learn about surrounding communities. Child-rearing will fall heavily on parents and a daycare provider. Are you keen on the cost both financially and mentally to get an older relative to come and help instill your values and morals? Are you prepared to leave your children for hours with someone who looks nothing like you? Are you aware of the political practices where you’re going? Is there civil conflict, uprisings or mistreatment of those marginalized? What are their considerations around health and healthcare?  What do their people look like? No, really, intersectionality creates clusters of people and what they look like is very important. Where is your community located and what are their social stats? What about social programs and views on community support? Who gets respect? Will your qualifications mean anything? Can you promise yourself that you will seek to manage your mental health when faced with coercion from societal pressure? Are you racist and known to discriminate? There is also more interracial dating because the culture of those who grow up or is born here is wholly Canadian with references to their parents’ culture. They do not live by their parents’ culture with reference to Canadian mores, no matter how much parents speak their language, take their kids to visit ‘back home’ or inundate them with stories of past times. Can you accept interracial relationships? Can you child marry who they please? Are you a person that will experience a language barrier? This will affect how far you get ahead in the corporate world, so can you learn a new language at your age? Immigrant health is known to decline over the years, what is your coping plan? What will you do when you are homesick? Do you laugh a lot and often, or know how to at all? You will have so many moments when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I say all this to say, research and prepare yourself so that you can assimilate, as this is non-negotiable when it comes to survival.

 

*Flashback Post*-November 3rd, 2013

I remember those days,

Timeless moments nothing could intercept,

Living for each moment, not thinking we had much time left,

Hours ran into days, ran into months into pains,

 

I remember those days,

Each day awoken with a smile,

Loving each second, each embrace,

Tethered by our souls, moving by grace,

 

I remember those days,

Time flew around us, yet our gaze stood still,

Time flew around us, but our traces lingered on each others skin,

Careless spirits, moving us through,

 

I remember those days,

Nothing ever mattered, nothing was our everything,

Talks that extended past wee hours,

No interests in seeing anything but each other

 

I remember those days,

Shamelessly submissive to your every word,

Fed from your words and your releases,

Full from all you embody and all you do,

 

I remember those days,

Falling into your arms was the single point I looked forward to in my days

Even just in candle light you seemed so great,

Naked and bare I still saw you as Adonis type gold

My every fibre focused on willing your eyes to just me

 

I remember those days,

If my tears would fall, so would yours too,

I’d be felt and heard and made to feel silly because you were there,

We were one being of burning heat and hope and love

We were open, our basic selves, feeding each others strengths

 

I remember those days,

Fingers tracing lightly on skin,

Tip toeing, stealing kisses, sneaking in,

Soft touches calls flutters in,

a glow and a constant happiness;grins

 

I remember those days

I ain’t felt that way in years.

Dia Tres…

I groaned as they rocked my body in an effort to wake me up but I opened my eyes instead of fighting back. ‘It was 4pm’ my husband kid and I jumped up thinking we had lost a day! It was only 11am and so we hung about for a bit. Today we’d see Fusterlandia and head to the beach close by after. Baby was a little under the weather and so we tried to create some sort of zen atmosphere so that he could sleep. He had a hard time and when he looked outside and started crying for us to open the door we apologized and quickly got dressed to go about our day. How could we waste his time like that? lol As we were about to leave, he threw up and caused a little panic but in no time he was back to being himself. We stood outside and hailed a ‘collectivo’. It took a good 5 minutes to get the address down pat and once again our maps.me app saved the day as that was what the driver and his passenger used to locate our first destination. He didn’t know of the place but he asked for 5 CUC and we hopped right in.  He made a stop to ask a lady friend for the destination and when we crossed cities he asked another driver but both him and his passenger shrugged and said ‘no’.  He eventually stopped where a fleet of taxi men were and as luck would have it, the man spoke English and was able to tell him exactly where to go. He let us know that we were very far for the driver and that it would be an additional 5 CUC. We didn’t mind honestly, as it was 40 CUC for a private taxi. We genuinely didn’t know where the fuck we were going either. All we knew as per the app was that we were 20 minutes away and the driver was very patient. He even played with the baby at random stop lights. We were grateful for his willingness to help. Fursterlandia was awe inspiring.
We eavesdropped on the tour guides spiel and heard that the artist does the homes free of cost. The concept is mind blowing and what it does foe the community is beyond exemplary. When we got to the main attraction a group of kids approached us but we couldn’t understand them. We saw a man go to them and give them his coins and told them to share. We did the same without thinking too much about it. I asked for a picture and they cracked us up with their poses!! One of the boys broke my hubbs heart when he asked for a baseball. We had actually brought 2 and left 1 at the casa. The other we had already given away.
I would recommend that If you decide to take gifts for children, go on the weekend and take them with you to Jaimanitas barrio, as the children will be around. After Fusterlandia we decided to check out the beach close by as it said it was only a minute away; Playa de Jamainatas. We were told to go around to get in and ended up walking a good 5 minutes away and had to walk through a path that led to a rocky, super small piece of beach.
We decided to go back around and walk across the baseball field then cut back across the hotel property.  It was too much trouble and the beach just wasn’t worth it. I got my beach fix with a dip and we left. The smell of the water stained our clothes. Luckily I had a few sachets of liquid Tide and was able to do a small soak and rinse when we got home. Sadly, this was the only time we got to go to the beach as the Playa del Este region was over 45 mins away.
We crossed the road and stood under a bus stop that was also designed by Jose Fuster. We flagged down a collectivo and presented them with our map. The driver and a female passenger worked things out and it would be 12 CUC. We agreed and got in. On the way, the 2nd passenger told us that he spoke a little English and was there studying to be a doctor. He also told us that they were planning to raise the price and that we should say no and pay the exact fare we agreed on.
We were grateful and as soon as we got to an avenue we recognized, I said ‘basta aqui por favor’, paid our fare and we walked home. The baby fell asleep from the weariness of the car ride and my hubby joined him shortly after.  I showered and went to walk the streets as sleep just would not come. I checked out a pastry shop and bought some cakes. I then visited a paladar that was recommended to us but was amazed by the setting. The prices were obviously way out of our league. A café bombon and an assorted croquettes from the tapas menu and a bag to take home my croquettes was almost 8 CUC!! I chilled there for a bit and caught up on my blog posts then made my way home. The VIP Havana ambience was real nice and I would recommend it as a date spot. It just wasn’t in our budget.
At our casa we played cards until we were ready to touch the streets again. At about 9pm, all 3 ventured out to Huron Azul for a Jazz show. We paid 5 CUC each and enjoyed live singing from a few artistes. We were extremely under dressed, hubs in shorts and I in tennis shoes. Nevertheless, we laughed at our situation and enjoyed the show. Only one performer spoke English and she turned out to be the best of the 3 we saw. Upon inquiry we found out that her name was ‘Choka?’ (not sure of spelling) and had been invited by another performer. We tried to get a picture but it seemed like she was gone and we weren’t in the mood to be any more trouble.  You see, when we walked in all eyes stared at us for awhile. Not only were we carrying a baby out this late but we clearly looked like we rolled off the back of a truck.
Everyone else was formally dressed. We left about 10:20 and went to El Idillio for a pleasant meal! So fresh and delicious, we both cleaned our plates. The rice with beans was the only thing that didn’t meet expectations but we were full regardless. We both had lobster meals and cocktails for under 25 CUC. The set-up of the restaurant was so perfect for families and babies. We didn’t want him disturbing other guests as he is a wanderer so we played racing and ring games together on the drive way as daddy settled the cheque. We were seated outside by garage and once all packed up, we strolled home to watch Backyardigans until we all fell asleep.