Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Life is precious

As something that is expected, could easily be taken advantage of such as life. Not everyone is guaranteed a life, but those who were blessed enough to be given one chance at this confusing but amazing living time on Earth are not appreciating this wonderful gift. I have found myself many times of not being grateful for this life I have and as awful as that sounds it's like I am living in a mode where I live to just see the next day. Everyday living to reach the next day and some part of me feels like life is much more than that and that there is so much more to offer that I am clearly not seeing.

I was about the age of thirteen when my life was shaken for a moment. On the bus heading home from middle school, I typically spent the bus ride goofing around with my two closest friends and singing along to the latest tunes of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga that the bus rider was kind enough to play loudly on the speakers. When I reached home I called out, "MOM I'M HOME!" as I normally do to announce that I made it home safely. Only this time I was not getting any response. Strange enough if my mom were to go somewhere or leave she would of told me something, right? Trying my best to stay calm I go check to see if my mom was sleeping in her bed, my dad at the time he was out of town in a training to prepare for another deployment he was going later in the year. I should explain that without warning, because that is just how life likes to take action, my mom was feeling ill a few days before and as to this day I have no idea to explain the pain she must of been to not be able to button her own pants or change her clothes.

Back to story, at this point I was beyond terrified because now the only thought that was on loop was that she was in the hospital and that somehow her condition worsen. My mom wouldn't pick up the phone and I had no way to contact my dad to ask what was going on. He was not even on the island at the time, and both of my brothers have not made it back to the house. I turned on the television in my mom's room to calm myself down but I wasn't even paying attention to what was airing, I felt frozen with fear and I began to cry. Not one of those pretty cries, not that any cry is pretty, but it was one of those uncontrollable cries where you shook so much and that at that moment is where I felt like my brain wasn't working. Several minutes have passed and my phone began to ring, it was one of my mom's friends who lived just a few blocks from us. In Spanish, she asked, "You know that your mom is in the hospital?" and there was this silence and this awful pang of disbelief and anger that my conclusions were correct. Drawing conclusions should be the total opposite of what is happening and for once I did not want my conclusions to be right. Took so much to hold myself together on that phone call, where I mainly listened but when I had to answer back I would swallow profusely to hide the fact that of all things, of course I wasn't fine. All I wanted was someone to be there with me to just hold me and remind me of how life could play some cruel tricks but that things would or could get better. I remember my mom's friend telling me that she was coming to pick me up so she can take me to the hospital to see her and I said okay, hung up, and cried.

I picked myself up, wiped away the tears, popped a piece of gum in my mouth because I have learned that keeping my mouth closed to fight back the tears will not work but if I had something occupying my mouth that I would fight through it, and waited for her to come get me. On the way there I did not talk much, not that I speak much as it is, but my mind was roaring with questions. What happened to my mom? Was she okay? Did they find out what was wrong with her? Is she coming home tonight? Was anyone able to contact my dad? This was the first time I was allowed to go to the side of hospital where they kept the patients overnight. The sensation was foreign, I felt that I was not supposed to be there and that someone was going to tell me that I couldn't enter and redirect me to the same entrance. Only I wasn't and now being lead to the end of the hall, my mom was in the second to last room to the left side of me. Memories like these do not just disappear with time but are just faded scars. They're enough to be seen but not a deep wound that everyone questions. She laid there in the hospital bed wearing the typical hospital gown and socks that had grips at the bottom of the feet to prevent her from slipping if she were to get out of bed. This was definitely the moment where I realized how much of my life is revolved around my mom and it upsets me how terrible things have to turn out in order to take full appreciation of what we may have. No one wants to see their parents in a hospital bed with an IV running through their veins.

I thank God so much that now that I am about to turn eighteen that I still have this chance to spend my moments with my mom and with my loved ones. She is indeed my everything and without her, I wouldn't be the same person I am today. I also cannot thank enough for my mom's friends for taking care of me and my brothers. For letting me have a place to stay so I wouldn't be left alone in the house, feeding me when I did not have the motivation to eat and for giving me a ride to school (and for also teaching me about my worth and value on that car trip to school but that is another story). Your support and love will forever be remembered and if you are reading this I am certain you know who you are and how much I love you all.

Life comes unannounced and most certainly life comes quick. Your life is valuable, you have the power to do anything that you want, and most important that life is precious. A gift that not everyone receives. If you are going through some tough times remember that you have the ability to make the tough times your steps in success or the anchor to your ship. Depends on how you want to take life by the reins and there is definitely support out there, ask for it and the help is all yours. Lastly just like the sermon I heard at church yesterday, your life is right in front of you if only you are willing to look up from the distractions.

What are you most grateful for?

xx Chavelita

Friday, June 19, 2015

Live in the moment

This has been the first summer in such a long time where I am not held responsible to complete homework for the following school year and where I can pretty much do anything I can set my mind on. Of course within the limits of the law but there are times where I come across this wall and I feel like I cannot do anything or at least I do not have the motivation to do anything. Or in other words, just pure laziness comes out of me. So I am literally in my bed bundled up in my blankets with my laptop sitting on my bed just burning holes into my retinas as I watch endless amounts of movies. But then I realized again that I was able to do anything that I set my mind to and that got me thinking, what should I do that could make this summer memorable and prepare myself for the transition into college? The answer became clear: you go where the wind takes you.

Normally I am the type of person who likes to plan their day out or at least search for things to do that will take the whole day. Yet lately, with the friendship I have with my best friend we have just been living in the moment. Such as the day of her graduation party that was held at this lovely cafe downtown in the city I live, we were sharing laughs, stories, among her group of friends and without hesitation we were on our way to Walmart around midnight buying last minute shoes and a basketball to play at the local park. Keep in mind that most of us were still in our dresses, dolled up, I wonder if people at Walmart think we actually dressed up glamorous to just go to the store... Anyway, this feeling of dropping everything and going with what life throws at you has been one of the greatest sensations to experience. Then with the same group of friends we went to a carnival an hour before it closes and we rode as many rides that we could. Two of the ones that nearly made me scream my lungs out, one that made me grasp tightly to a friend for my dear life, and the rest spent laughing uncontrollably as the speed of the contractions pushed back our hair. I feel extremely grateful for meeting such wonderful people where I can completely feel like myself to spend the whole day and to be able to share these moments with.

The other night I was given another opportunity to attend a bonfire in which I actually I went. This time I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and decided again, why not live in the moment? At the start of the event I was feeling a little bit off because I was the first one to arrive but then more people were showing up and the atmosphere took a new life. As the sun and the moon were alternating their turns, the bonfire started and we all roasted our marshmallows to be put into our s'mores. In a change of a moment music was played by one of my good friend's phone and we started dancing in middle of the front yard in the pure dirt. Whether we had an audience or not, we did not care, we just continued dancing the night away.

This post is not necessarily about how I am spending my summer though, but more pushing the idea of living in the moment. Remove yourself from your comfort zone and see where the day will take you but also be careful. I don't want to see you in the newspaper for public disturbance or anything similar along those lines. Just know that whether the day is planned or you are winging it as the day continues just spend the day without having anything on your mind. At least for that day, release yourself from your stress and intake the full life experience because you never know when you will get an opportunity as close to the ones you take. Take pictures when you can, but do not have that distract you from enjoying your day.

What is one of your favorite memories?

xx Chavelita

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Scenario: Eliminate the should haves

But do you know what this means? Have you considered about the dangers you are about to place onto yourself? How will I break this to your family? You will not be able to turn back to the life you have grown up to know. All this time you spent struggling to find out what specialties make you stand out from the rest only to realize that those talents are yours to keep. Talents that nobody can steal from you. Everything that you once knew will simply float away with the rest of your unspoken thoughts.

From the look in your eyes I know you had plenty to say I only wish you expressed them instead of having them consume your every motivation. If I were to write a eulogy for you I wouldn’t even know where I begin… 

Should I begin with the day we met? That hot summer morning on my way to my Grandmother’s house and you were just moving into the house next door? I still remember we were about twelve both looking confused as ever when our eyes locked into place for the first time because frankly our neighborhood barely had any new residents.  Our town was only a spec on the map, even with a magnify glass you could barely see us. Of the odds though you were the only person I was able to confide myself to and I am not sure if it was because we both came from tough pasts of losing a parent before we were even able to walk or because you found me crying on the front porch that night when my father had too much to drink. You didn’t even ask me any questions, you only split your cherry Popsicle in half and handed me the other half. We both sat there licking away while the rest of the world was crumbling before our eyes. Even though you did not speak a lot, your gestures did speak for themselves and when you did speak I was always left in dismay. Just like that one time someone decided to vandalize my locker with the words "heifer" and "moo" scattered onto my locker and with the only thought that came to my mind was how much of a loser I was. But then you said…

“Carly, you mustn’t be so hard on yourself there are plenty of people out there who already wants to make you miserable. Don’t be on their side; you have way too much to offer to just have it be wasted in self-pity. Come on say it with me. Team Carly! I am not hearing you! TEAM CARLY!”

To this day I can still hear you chanting “team Carly” and in all honesty you saved my life. For once I was able to remove the blanket I had been using to cover my mirror and gave myself a good look. I wept as though I was in shock in seeing an old friend and smiling and laughing for being ever so grateful of being alive to experience this moment. You were able to find the Carly I had lost since I was fourteen. 

Or should I begin on our first day of school? We were both assigned to the same teacher Mrs. Flowers and as our little joke we would always bring a flower because her last name was Flowers and we would place it on her desk without being caught. Most of the time her desk was cluttered with flower petals but I don't think that had bothered Mrs. Flowers. Being anonymous at that time seemed more exciting and bad butt than simply leaving flowers out in the open. We did things not to seek attention but more to see how others would react. Our classmates always sent out odd expressions in our direction but I didn’t care as long as I was spending time with you. Then during recess I would stand on your shoulders to peer out of the windows to see Mrs. Flowers sniffing the yellow rose we had given her that day and you would beg me to get off as your legs wobbled uncontrollably. We were only kids without a clue that we were making a difference in Mrs. Flowers’s life. 

So this is why I need you to wake up Nate. I need you to know of how much you impacted my life and how much you have caused ripples in other people’s lives. No one knows your story more than you do. To be part of your story is the same as saying that I was only the icing to the cake, but in reality many people come to eat the cake because that is where most of the richness comes from. Your mother right now has been sleeping in an uncomfortable seat next to you for the past three days with a fear that if she leaves, that she may not be able to see you or even have a chance to say goodbye. Please do not make me say goodbye. Please… I am not ready; I should have told you that I love you when I had the chance. I should have known better not to have let you leave my house when you said you needed space. I should have kept an eye out for you to know that you arrived home safely because I know you would have done the same. You were always the strong one. So strong, that not even your best friend was able to tell that you were screaming for help. I am so so sorry, Nate. I wish you can acknowledge how awful I feel for not doing the best I can, I should have done better. I cannot forgive myself for being so careless and I cannot even imagine how terrified your mother had felt when she found you in the tub next to empty bottles of pain killers. I really wish you would have told me about the battles you have been fighting; maybe I could have done something to help. Even if I was no help in conquering I could have been the supplier. Now I am wondering if I will ever see your dark brown eyes again, the same ones I have grown to love more each day since we met.

Just know that this is your final battle and no one can decide for you. It is your choice whether you want to live to see what else life has to offer or to close the book. But if you were to ask me, I still think you have plenty to write in your book. For now, I’ll just leave your other half of the cherry Popsicle right here.

I have always had a terrible time writing stories because of my writer's block sneaking up at me whenever I get the writing bug. Which is why I prefer to write poems, or short stories because they get straight to the point. If you did not get the main topic of this short story I wanted to center it around suicide and how many things are left incomplete in the act. "Eliminate the should haves" as straightforward of a title can be, instead of saying the should haves when the person has the crossed the line of no return, we should constantly be telling the ones we love that we do love and appreciate them. We cannot read minds so of course we would not know what the person is going through but we also should not wait until the last minute to be confessing the love we have to one another.

For those going through tough times just know that there is always help out there. I am sure there are people who are willing to listen to what you have to say and if you cannot find a family member or a friend you can always call, you can even text the suicide hotline if you do not feel like talking and one of their representatives will gladly be there to assist you. Here is some information that can be useful.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline in the United States:
1 (800) 273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Hotline in United Kingdom:
+44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK - local rate)

National Suicide Prevention Hotline in France:
01 45 39 40 00

National Suicide Prevention Hotline in Russia:
007 (8202) 577-577

If you cannot find your country here is a list of Suicide Hotlines you can find them on this website:
International Suicide Hotlines

You are not alone, keep that in mind and if you are having suicidal thoughts please speak up. Being scared is okay but holding dangerous and damaging thoughts and information is not.

Love you all! You are all stronger than you think, do not forget that!

xx Chavelita