Working on Myself.

The common theme of 2016 seems to be “Working on Myself.” I tend to find this both comforting and challenging to accept. Its hard to think that the people i’ve lived around my entire life are finally growing up. I take a dear friend of mine back home to see my family for another time around and I find myself thinking of the impact that my family at home and friends from high school played into my development. What space have they provided me, and what space have I created amongst this space? Am I comfortable and to what extent am I just “okay” with what my life has been at?

If I’m “working with myself” then was it wrong of me to tell my mom that I’m proud of her for owning her space. If comfort is what we seek then why does it hurt? To be a woman and own your space is to be known as a bitch. What is a bitch but a female dog, or in my opinion, a woman with a strong presence that owns themselves. I found myself amongst a sea of womxn that have come before me, chingonas that have mended the wounds of displacement in our souls. The womxn around me bury their souls into their work, my mother is a worn gardener preparing herself for her fall harvest. The letter below describes my feelings towards my mother:

Dear mother,
Thank you for everything that you’ve provided me. Thank you for showing me how hard, how beautiful, how expansive and how limited this world is. You have provided a space for me that I never thought of anything possible. I’m proud of you Mom. I’m proud of you for teaching me the hardest lesson, “tough love.” I know that it hurts. I know that you’re going to feel like you did wrong. I know that you want to feel like its going to be okay soon but remember this, you taught us well. I know he’ll be okay  because I’m okay. You’ve taught us love, strength, power but most of all individuality. You’ve raised us to be ourselves, and our truest selves. You’ve raised warriors, ready to take on the world at any point. You’ve done your job and although the future isn’t what you expected it definitely holds love and prosperity. You hold so much wisdom and its time for you to be you.
I want you to remember that you are a warrior. I want you to remember what you’ve taught us. I want you to remember that this world is yours, I want you to remember that as much as you are hurting you will prosper. You are Wonder Woman, you are an Inspiration and you are my best friend. I’ve enjoyed the time that you’ve given us in your life and  I’m excited for the life that you’re going to have beyond this. You’ve left an impact on my life and you’ve left an impact on the life of the people around you. From your friends to your own kids you radiate beauty. You see the world in a way that I’ve never understood and you accept me for who I am. You’re going to be alright kid, and I think you’re going to be better than great. 

 

To My Other Half.
I don’t know what it is but this feeling hurts. I feel tortured, threatened, happy, excited, thankful, remorse and much more these days. I can’t go to bed because the thought of my thoughts is making sure you’re safe, and what if you’re not…
I think about you not because I have to but because I want you. You, the first person to accept me, the one who was there for me since day one, the person who I share a common face with, a womb with. I think about you not only in my dreams, but why have you grown so distant. Have I grown distant, has my comfortability made you uncomfortable? Have I been overlooking my entire family and have been missing this key component? Does including him in your life make you feel better? How do you think including him in your life affects that of the people you surround yourself with, the people who would be there for you till the very last drop of your blood. I find myself perplexed, viewing every angle of how this all went down and my deepest thought lies in understanding that why am I mad…
If I’m working on myself then why does it hurt. I look back on your life and think of the lack-of the life centered around the man. You’ve put the life of a father who was never there and traded it away for the benefit of you and your dad. I’m upset, aggravated, ticked off but most of all I’m hurt. I’m hurt from the years of begging you to take me to a concert, I’m hurt from always paying when we hang out, I’m hurt from understanding why you talk to him and have yet to understand what there is for you to gain. Right now I’m hurting, but most importantly the one woman who gave up her entire life for us is hurting. She was there when nobody else wasn’t, she was there throughout the good moments and the bad. She put you through wrestling, tennis, countless other shenangans with your girlfriends, doctors appointments, paying for car accidents, credit card debt, loans and for what. She doesn’t expect anything from you and you still manage to  make this all about you. You manage to break her heart once more. It’s never been about the presents, the gifts, the material items or the amount of time you give. It was about how you treated us and how you treated them. It’s about how everyone has always put in so much work into you and you don’t seem to realize it. This is about how I feel sorry for you because I wanted to think that you had a good head on your shoulders. The thing is, you do. It frustrates me to know that even in the end of all this I still hope you’re okay. I still love you, and I’m still your brother. You’re my other half. 
So amidst this chaos comes the question, who am I? Who do I want to be? Like Ed says, “I think people should be who they want to be 100%,” and I have to agree. If I’m myself 100% then I’m working with myself, right? I’m ready to be me. And maybe this isn’t a good time but I’m ready to finally be who I was meant to be. My mom and my brother will both be happier in the long run, my mom was 21 with a pair of twins and a 1 year old daughter and I think she did an amazing job. 

Nowhere to Now Here.

I draw back on my many memories today of the different points I’ve made some form of myself public. As a public image I feel that the hardest part of growing up or coming of age was learning who I am, who I want to be, who I portray to the world and who do I see myself becoming. I find myself peering upon a map and thinking about the many locations i’ve traveled to and for FREE I might add. Through leadership development, lots of dedication and a devotion to bettering myself I found myself across the globe. I’ve made friends in places I never knew existed before, from Vancouver to Pittsburgh my life has been impacted by what i’ve seen and what is around me.
Here is a list of the places that i’ve been to and have left versions of myself behind:
  • 2012
    • San Francisco
    • San Jose
    • Sacramento
    • San Diego
  • 2013
    • Vancouver, UBC
    • Pittsburgh
    • Spokane, WA
  • 2014
    • U. La Verne
    • Eau-Claire, WI
    • San Diego
  • 2015
    • Denver, CO (Twice; Feb. & Oct)
    • Livermore
  • 2016
    • Chicago
    • Berkeley
    • Las Vegas
    • Livermore
    • Pirate’s Cove
  • Remainder of 2016
    • Portland
    • Seattle
Throughout these things one thing that remains apparent is my need to show myself more. To be more, to validate more. To be affirmed is to be real, right? I’ll see what the future has in store but for now I know that I’m me, and he’s me, they are all versions of me.