This Is 30!

I couldn’t sleep all night because I was looking forward to this day. For weeks, I have been dreading the ‘big turn’. I was constantly telling friends for weeks about my plan for the day. I googled articles that list what changes when you ‘turn’. I googled  quotes about the dread of a life it becomes. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and drink and cry and draw on rose blunts until I somehow manifested into all I believe I should have at this age. 3-0. I have been sulking for weeks about what the age meant for my body and stereotypes. I shot down every plan to celebrate because all I really wanted to do was hide and stay under the covers until those posts wishing me well were at the bottom of everyone’s feed!

Alas, the day is here and I’m drawing blanks. There is no sadness at all. I blame Oprah. That Golden Globes speech recharged me. Conversations about it with a dear friend made me full. My life looks nothing like the history of my people and I should be grateful. I am healthy and able to use all motor skills without even thinking or assistance. I have a beautiful son who asked me to smile this morning. A darling husband that is just the most patient man in life. I am not hurt and no one in my family is ailing. Most importantly. I have life. The day is here and all I feel is joy. And lightness. I want to see everyone I love and have them shower me with admiration and praises. I want to be feasting on select cuts and crisp wine as I laugh heartily as people reminisce about stories about my crazy life. Or the past crazy year. I have so much to be grateful for. There is so much life within me, I haven’t been able to stop smiling.

The sad part is we’re going through an extremely rough patch right now. At the top of the year, we find ourselves really making some hard choices just to stay afloat. I am unemployed again, as my seasonal job is over. I do not have the qualifications I planned for. I don’t look like I want to and frankly don’t have to mental capacity to change that right now. We’re basically blowing through our savings with no contingency plan. My boots are literally taking in water (lol). My school fee is past due. My partners strength is unraveling a little bit more each day. I should be miserable and cursing the universe. I can’t even celebrate with a fancy dinner and fancy foil balloons; but I’m cheery. In the highest of spirits I have been in the past 3 months. I can’t be unhappy. I cannot wallow in darkness and close myself off from the world. I don’t want to be a depiction of Scrooge today. I cannot be consumed with race issues today, politics or the like. It isn’t fair to be sad. I must be and revel in aging gracefully and celebrate every part of the day; even my very ambitious BM. I am over the moon and on a high; partly sponsored by coffee. Today, my depression will not beat me to a pulp. I’ve been smiling constantly despite the abrasive weather. Every sweet message and well wish is like a falling Tetris block and I just might burst! I feel so loved and free. I cannot help, but, squeal! I’m not sure who does this, but I had planned to be a damsel of doom today; but I rebel!

I will treat myself to a modest lunch and cuddle with up with my joy today. After all, I turned 30!

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*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.

*Flashback post*-Dec. 29th 2013

It is what’s in your soul that will be the only thing that will carry you through,

When faced with adversity, when your pureness has been compromised,

Fly, fly on…..just keep swimming, it’s not the end,

 

When you gave of yourself and received naught,

It is not the end for you, your kindness has not met defeat,

It has instead met tests for a stronger self, don’t forget.

 

Fly, carry on as you are,

Don’t change when met with grunge, debris and a witless heart,

You have done no ill in being kind, extending a hand and trying to change the times,

Never change because you’re hurt, be yourself someone will see your worth.

 

Never beat yourself up. Never expect a beast to give you a rose.

You introduced your naked soul and were rebuffed.

Life goes on, no matter how tough.

 

When the dust settles it will be clear,

You made a clearing in a dark place,

You loved the unloved.

Night time Babba woes…

*Sigh* …Our food drama continues…

Since lately baby (2 yr. old) has been waking up multiple times throughout the night screaming for a bottle. We were trying to wean him off bottles, formulas and bedtime ‘babbas’ but the child was legitimately starving.

We tried giving him water, rocking him back to sleep, letting him wake up, turning on his favorite videos on his tablets, singing songs etc. None of it works as fast as a warm bottle does.  Truth be told, most times we needed to go back to bed as well. When our efforts failed we tried to find ways to full his stomach. We only use almond and coconut milk and so we figured they weren’t holding him as long as we needed. Plus, frequently waking up meant he wasn’t hitting deep a sleep to me. one night he woke up 6 times and he polished off his bottle each time. We knew we needed to make a change. We needed to make baby fuller, longer. We figured he was tired of the Pediasure, so I looked at other things.  I perused the supermarket aisle and was considering a baby cereal but there wasn’t any that went up to his age.  A quick Google search suggested that greek yogurt is one food that keeps you fuller longer. I figured that it couldn’t hurt to try even though he was technically limited when it came to dairy.

I bought a small tub of organic plain to try and it worked like a charm! One tablespoon in his night time bottle and he only woke up 1 time for the night looking for his fill. He even seemed more well rested. I especially loved that this wasn’t a filler like the cereal would be but a great healthy addition with lots of Calcium benefits!

Score!

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.

 

Sylvia….

I miss my paternal grandmother. I knew her when I was a young girl and even though she passed when I was about 12 or 13, I still very much miss her dearly. I didn’t treat her that well when she was here on earth because she was extraordinarily miserable. I mean m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e! I couldn’t fathom it, and used to wonder why the hell she was picking on me! My fondest memory of her is actually one where I got a whooping! Lol. She and my grandfather ran a restaurant in the city square where they lived-Papine, and one day I was on the rooftop patio clearing the tables and a guest left a little bit of beer in their Red Stripe bottle. I looked around and put that bottle right to my head. Next thing I knew she flew down on me and with her strong hands and gave me about 3 slaps across my back! I was so startled, I could piss myself! My mother is going to hear about this I thought!! She was an excellent, excellent cook and very protective. I did love that she took me everywhere with her and like a grandmother, was always teaching a lesson and extending a treat. I have a friend that reminds me so much of the care of a loving grandmother but I sometimes feel like I burden her too much. If Miss Slyvie was here, I wouldn’t care because grandmothers are not allowed to dislike you. If she was here, so many life choices would have gone differently, because her word would be one I could count on and trust. I also wish she was here to meet my son, who in his own way is the sweetest! Sigh, just musings today…nothing major!

An ode to the Beygency et al….

I wasn’t a ‘stan’ for Beyonce growing up. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her music, my favorite kind of music was oldies. screenshot_20170201-153930The hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s is what I loved. I would always jam to her tunes but I didn’t understand her magnitude. I loved getting lost in these eras and still do. The songs from those times had the ultimate life lessons for which I was very grateful. As I became an adult I realized many things, one of which was the way people ‘work’. I saw people in two categories, those who grind and those who does and would not. Every time I was left alone pushing through a group project in college, I got a taste of people in the world. Every time I had to step up and shoulder major tasks in my role at work, I got a taste of people in the real world. Every time I have had to yell ‘I’ll do it!’; the taste lingered. The more I pushed through grand tasks, being deadbeat tired and still moving, the more I grew bewildered. There was a point in my life when I was working a full-time job, a part-time job, taking request for a paying hobby all while going to school as a full-time student. Friends and family hadn’t see me for months. One friend saw me because we worked together. The more these days turned into months, the more I was confused about how others were living. There are people in this world that cannot hold down 1 steady job. Adults, who are incapable of working steadily, earning a living and covering their bills and basic expenses. I’m talking about men and women alike, not SAHMs or SAHDs, I’m talking drifters. Significant others that just want to lay around and be carried.   We all know them and wonder how they survive. Even more so how they excel in relationships and why they are being enabled. I could never respect a capable being holding their own. I could never trust them for they don’t even love themselves. screenshot_20170201-144710It boggles my mind how comfortable people get just floating day in and day out. Stationary, still with no desire for much more than the next meal. I shuddered at that scene in Chewing Gum when Cynthia said she wanted nothing out of life but to play LUDO with Tracey all day. I know people like this exists! I wondered if my partner and I were the only ones who lived like this and why. Doesn’t everybody want a million?  Don’t they want more for their children and own life?

You might be wondering how Bey ties in to this. Where does Slayonce lie here? She ties in because no matter what is said about her, she does the work. All of the work, all the time. I have to respect the work ethic, I have to lift up the drive and ambition. As hard as she goes, she doesn’t always win, which is also a part of life but the works goes on. She’s on to the next project or step. She does it consistently, focused and moving on, all without an ego! As I shouldered many things alone I drew to women who were the same. I also separated from those who cannot hold their own, they felt like anchors and their relationships with others around them turned me off. It was all too transactional. I looked deeper at women who do and who get jokes cracked on them because they do. Also saw the other side of women who get criticized for the most irrelevant things. Lisa Price, Michaela Coel, Shonda Rhimes, my aunts and other women in my family, friends, Michelle Obama, Oprah, my sis-in-law. There’s a reason why they stand high, some alone. I’ve learned to channel the strength of the greats and I can’t wait to pass that aptitude on to my daughter. My son is already a work in progress. If not for yourself, do the work, all of it, all the time for those that want to respect you. Things has to be done because the world doesn’t stop for any one. Ever.