Each day that passes that I am still in California is like a test to see how much I can stand. I’m not unhappy, far from it, actually. But there is a low-level of resentment that stems from the fact that I’ve been here longer than I anticipated. When I took the subway to JFK back in May, I knew it would not be the last time I did so but something in me felt nostalgic about New York before I had even left it. I wasn’t sure how long I would be gone, I just knew I had to board a west-bound plane. 

Some time has passed. 
My youngest nephew knows my name now, whereas before he only knew my face. My brother and I are closer now, we smoke weed and watching Breaking Bad together; bonding together in ways that have surprised us. My mother and I have grown weary of one another. I’m an adult and there is a reason why your parents stop being your roommates at some point in your life. In Hispanic heritage, family is everything. You drop everything for your family. In 2002 my aunt and her family was living in Colorado but she moved back home to the Bay Area just to be closer to my grandparent’s when my great-grandfather died. Everything seems to be centered around family and of course there is nothing wrong with that. It is endearing and sentimental to me to know that the people who loved me first are very close to me now, again. But I would be untrue to myself, as an individual if I did not admit that I haven’t felt stifled. That I don’t currently feel up to my neck in family. 
I want to breathe. 
My sister’s birthday is today and her husband and my nephews are over. My cousin and her new boyfriend (who is talking way too loud and way too much, feeling all around a little too comfortable at this family shindig IMO) are over. My brother is playing some music on his iPhone. The kids were running around in the sprinklers a bit ago. Mom and our cousin are entertaining the new boyfriend in their legendary flirty way. And I…I am in the bedroom writing this. I needed some space and as I got up leave the patio my tiny decision to be alone felt like the entirety of the Pacific Ocean swelling within me. I feel guilty. My family, for the most part, just lets me be who I am but I see the narrowing of their eyes whenever I spend a little too much time away from them. I am different from them in every way, and this is an often uttered fact. I am the eldest, which comes with these certain expectations that I have not met. My sister acts like the oldest child since she is married and a mother. She has been dutiful in this way. She owns her home and has a fantastic job and I will just say that comparison is the root of unhappiness. I wish there was some way to make my mother, a woman whom I admire and love despite how tricky our relationship is, see this as clearly as I do. 
Everything in its time. 
It is September and change is coming. That sounds ominous but I am unflinching. A risk is nothing, there’s nothing I can lose. This is the fiercest part of me, the survivor mentality that got me to this place. I know what I want and I’m wanting it still. There is a list of things I want to accomplish, both short-term and long-term stuff, that sits in a file in my laptop. I pull it up every morning, read it as a reminder, then start my day. There is still so much shit I have to do, out of obligation and duty to no one but me. I am sorry that that makes me selfish and a bad daughter, but I am no good to anyone if I am not honoring my own needs, first. In a way it feels like things are just beginning. There is promise of a future for myself that right now I can glimpse and it makes me giddy. There are publications to write for, and a book proposal to submit. There are cities to travel to, and a home to make of my own. There is a man to kiss, then kiss again. There is a family here who loves me in their imperfect way, and if I can just remember that, without letting the differences between us trip me up, that is the way I will survive.
These are my Grandma’s sunglasses.

These are my Grandma’s sunglasses.

"Women have always been healers. They were the unlicensed doctors and anatomists of Western history. They were abortionists, nurses, and counselors. They were pharmacists, cultivating healing herbs and exchanging secrets of their uses. They were midwives, travelling from home to home and village to village. For centuries women were doctors without degrees, barred from books and lectures, learning from each other, and passing on experience from neighbor to neighbor and mother to daughter. They were called “wise women” by the people, witches or charlatans by the authorities. Medicine is part of our heritage as women, our history, our birthright."

Witches Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers - Barbara Ehrenreich & Deirdre English (via mangoestho)

(Source: studentmotherlife, via mangoestho)

5 things:

1. I am still reading An Untamed State. It is taking me so long because I keep having to put the book down to take deep breaths. And then I usually decide to just do something else instead of confront what is happening on those pages. I am a woozy person, my threshold for even reading about physical pain is extremely low. Each word was carefully chosen, like plucking fruit from a tree, the ripe ones only. It is very difficult to read what Mireille goes through, but I am plugging away because I know it will be worth it.

2. My Grandma told me once that when she met my grandfather she thought he was just “so-so” but she got pregnant with my mom and well…it is insane to me how one circumstance out of your control can change the trajectory of your life.

3. I drove a lot this weekend whereas normally I take Bart everywhere, and I realized that I don’t have road rage, what I have is a case of superiority with regard to other drives who are not on my level. I’m not joking, I am a perfect driver.

4. It’s important that I embrace rationality, logic and reality because I would be ruined by emotion otherwise. When I let my emotions get the absolute best of me, I realize I still have so much work to do.

5. Even though I once told myself I would no longer do so, I keep writing about my father because I keep wondering if writing about him will answer any of my questions about him. To date I am empty-handed.

Tags: 5 things

This Sango mix is Harlem to me; I listened to it every day for months last year. It came on my iTunes a bit ago, and instantly I was chilling at St Nick Park on a warm Sunday afternoon. Or I’m walking home from Londel’s just after last call, drunk as fuck and convincing myself everything was fine. I’m exiting the uptown B/D subway train station on 135th st, last year’s brutal winter all in the air surrounding me. Or, I’m walking down 7th Ave with my grocery bags cutting into my palms, this mix becoming auditory time travel.


Tove Lo - Stay High (Habits Remix)


fave song rn

"Fortunately, baseball is like life, and everything will be forgotten tomorrow. The majority of fans will revert to being selfish, forgetful and generally ethical people, and I will revert to being a jocular ne’er-do-well and a passable father. Basically all the good teams won. The standings will not have changed, only incremented. We will all be slightly more serious tomorrow."

Patrick Dubuque (Lookout Landing)

Read the rest: “77-59: Everything is as it should be”

(via mightyflynn)

blue ivy carter slays 

The absolute only way these videos of Blue Ivy being 100000% adorable could be better would be if Rita Ora sat her ass down.

(Source: adoringbeyonce, via beyoncexknowles)


(Source: ephe)

5 things:

1. For the last few weeks it has felt like the world was finally going to shit, just the way I knew it would. I have been quiet. I logged off Twitter for five days, everyone’s thoughts were too loud. There was so much bad news, every single day. I wondered, almost in awe at how things felt so bad so many days in a row.

I stood outside in the backyard one night last week while my dog ate his dinner and drank water from an old bowl we have been meaning to replace. I only intended on filling his water bowl then going back inside, but I set his water down on the cement and looked up, I don’t know why.

I looked up and the wind blew my tears from my cheeks. California has been what I needed it to be, when I needed it most. The sunsets, and the wide open spaces. The food, and my family and friends. I have been living in a town far removed from the hustle and bustle of a big city; I can see the stars perfectly. I had a moment. The world has always been this bad, it is just that now we are paying attention, so it seems even worse. I felt bad for calling the world shitty while staring up at the sky, innocent and just existing. The stars twinkling right in front of me, even as the planet below went up in flames. The juxtaposition is what made me come to my senses. Thank you, California for that night.

2. When I turned 18, dad disappeared for good. He showed up at my high school graduation party, dropped off a purple envelope that held a “Congrats Grad!” Hallmark card inside, and we didn’t see him again for several years. It wasn’t until much later that mom told us dad was living in the next town over all those years that the betrayal and feelings of abandonment started to sink in, even now as I think to myself, “god, there I go writing about dad again.” His mark is all over me.

His love for us was the kind that would follow me around in life like a shadow. The kind that keeps you awake late at night long after street lights have beamed their soft glow into your bedroom window. Thank you, dad for being the catalyst that introduced me to myself — a woman unmatched.

3. Thank you, M for being a positive, cosmic force in my life. You are good and true, and even when I’m doing you an injustice by worrying too much about the past, you are still good and you are still true.

4. THANK YOU BEYONCÉ FOR REAL FOR CONSTANTLY INSPIRING ME TO BE MY BEST SELF. You really meant it when you said, “You can say what you want / I’m the shit / I want everyone to feel like this.” Thank you for that night in December; it mended me and continues to be a gift, all these months later.

5. Thank you, east coast friends for remembering me. Thank you, west coast friends for letting me come back into your space and lives. Thank you, digital friends for being here and for understanding that without words I am just a girl with a foolish heart.

Tags: 5 things