Mi Cultura, Mi Raza- Hispanic Heritage Month TX Latino Bloggers Tour

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My paternal abuelos Kina and Alfredo.

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A food lover since 1982

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My maternal abuelos Andres and Lilia

I come from a long line of fighters, lovers, chingones, comelones….. My raza is quite  a comidic one, dramatic, and loving, but most importantly, I come from a family that instilled a proud Hispanic heritage. I always remember my abuelita Kina’s words, “Si te dicen que sus huevos cuelgan, tu diles que los tuyos arastran.” And that is what it means to be Hispanic. You persevere, you’re proud , and you keep moving in the direction of happiness. What my parents have sowed, 32 years ago,  grew into beautiful strong seedlings who’s Mexican roots have now become entwined and buried deep in the heart of Texas.

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Mi Papi and Mami

Long before my 5 beautiful sisters and I were born, my parents decided that they would do what ever it took to build a life worth living for their children. Over the years my parents have sacrificed so much for us, and for this I will forever be grateful,  but I think the biggest sacrifice was leaving their roots, their home in Mexico to move to a country  who’s cultura was totally different from theirs. My papi  has said many times that this move has been only for the best. They wanted us to have an opportunity to thrive, to grow, be educated, be free to have options and to choose which ever path we wanted to tread no matter how many times we tripped. My papi  said, “You go to college, or you go to college.” So this country has allowed all 6 of us to have an education, work, a safer place to live.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my Mexico lindo…their papas preparadas, taquitos de la calle, tortillas made in the mollino, homemade milk bolis , and the elotes from my abuelos neighbor with homemade mayo and chilito….Aye, Diosito Mio, That’s my mero mole

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Mami and Papi

It was a  struggle, for my parents, to keep those hispanic roots strong in a country who’s American culture is so different and overwhelming.  I remember my mom pulling me out of billingual class in the 2nd grade because she wanted me to be exposed to English as much as possible. She said a teacher once told her, “School will teach your children English, you will teach your daughters Spanish.” That’s exactly what my parents did. They didn’t allow us to stray and become “Americanized” but yet they exposed us and taught us to appreciate, but never take advantage of, this beautiful country that has allowed us to do so much. I remember my mami taking us to the zoo, to market square, Fiesta…everything that was free…we were there lol…always finding ways to expose us to San Antonio.

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My abuela Kina and I

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage month is so important for us Latinos. I’m a  first generation Mexican-American. A proud Hispana who’s cultura means so much and its important to continue appreciating our roots. When I think about what it means to be hispanic I picture my family gathered around the table playing loteria, echando unas carcahadas, and eating. I remember us as children playing with the mangera outside, in the mud puddles, and my mami screaming at us “vayanse para fuera“…go outside and play….  Stopping the paletro and buying a wpid-img_29465253191960.jpegcucumber with chamoy….

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Rio Frio

Its a beautiful sight to see our cultura thriving in America, in our old San Antonio, in my nephews…in our children. So,  next time someone talks to you in English and somehow…you don’t even know cuando…acabo en Espanol…be proud…because THAT is our Latino culture entangled in America, the beautiful  place we call home.

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Nothing heals the soul like the sand between your toes,

the sounds of the sea mixed with music playing from a speaker,

and leaving all that which hurts us behind.

This is where we begin to rebuild.

The Beauty of Forgiveness

When I was little and I would get into arguments with my sisters my papi would always get after us. He would say, “La familia perdona.”  No matter who is at fault. Aye Maria purisima, Disoito mio give me strength….it would boil my blood. I felt there was a great  injustice being committed against me.  For the longest time I couldn’t accept it. My mami would make us apologize a fuerzas and I would do it only because I feared the wrath of my Mexican parents, LOL.  That childhood lesson laid a very important foundation for forgiveness. My mami and papi showed us the importance of  forgiving one another, although forgiveness doesn’t come easy, it has to come from the heart, if not, it is not forgiveness.  It took me a long time to understand that we have to let go and forgive for the sake of our own soul. Harboring negative emotions slowly puts out our fire.

Throughout my life I’ve stumbled upon great injustices made against me.  I’ve been bullied because I was the quiet one, I’ve been taken advantage of, and  I been hurt because I choose to give my heart out  like free religious “Watchtower” pamphlets….Well, I was going to add, “to all the wrong people.” but I feel that given the priceless lessons that I have learned and considering how far I’ve come along….I was suppose to give my heart out to those people. I don’t regret the love that I choose to give.  I have said, and I stand by my word, that I am a creature of love….despite of that mean little troll that’s made a home in my heart for the past few years.

Recently, someone from my past came knocking at my heart’s door. I peeked through the peephole, locked the double bolt locks, and hid under the table. After I remembered that my parents didn’t raise a coward…but a big shit chingona, I picked myself up and faced the past that needed to be forgiven. But….well….that was hard…Instead, I declared war. I didn’t let him in…I threw my ninja blades, and did my karate chops, and words of resentment  came pouring out of my mouth…and after the storm passed… I cried like the heartache was new and felt like I’d gone against everything my parents taught me. Instead of being retaliated on, he understood everything, is fighting for a second chance, is embracing me, and giving me the time I need for him to show me that he’s a changed man. Something I’d never seen before in him. It shook me to my core and I asked myself…Do people change?  I’d been waiting for this moment…For someone to wholeheartedly apologized to me for what they did and understand what it feels like to be in pain. I didn’t think that anyone would ever have a chance to amend a broken love….broken and all, my ego hates to admit to the world, that love never went away.

So what do I do?  My chingona ego tells me one thing, while my pendeja heart, Diosito bless her soul, tells me something else. I’ve build walls around my heart, I’ve put my foot down, I’ve put on my big girl panties and thrown punches at the world, I’ve become hard and calloused because I’ve allowed that hurt to brew in me….and I feel, now, as I tread with care in allowing this person back in my life…. that I’ve somehow have let the chingona down because forgiveness and this chingadera that I feel for this changing man is starting to seep into my heart. Do I fight it? I embrace it.  I don’t understand, but in the end…after 6 yrs….I’m finding that we are both finally beginning to heal from the pain that path we have been on has given us. That is whats important.

I can truly say that if things are meant to be, they will find a way. That way… whichever it it… or however long it takes… or how right or wrong people may think it is….Is truly just for us no matter what happens in the end. I never thought that I would find true happiness and comfort from being with someone who caused great pain in the past.  Love is Love and when its true, it overcomes great pain. That’s the beauty of forgiveness. It’s not for everyone, but it’s for me. Love is for me. Happiness is for me. Forgiving is for me.

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On my way home from work I had to stop to admire the scenery. I couldn’t help but to thank mi Diosito. Too often I zoom past these green pastures, vivacious clouds, and laid back cows.  Today, I stopped. I leaned on the hood of my car for a bit, took a deep breath of  clean country air, and felt the Texas summer breeze on my face.  I feel that my life is coming full circle. I find it so refreshing because this has been a period of great growth for me. All aspects of my life were defined these last 6 years. Now, I find myself in the process of getting moved into the classroom I once started in. I find myself beautifully enlightened.  I find myself being surprised, at work,  with beautiful roses from an old love and the only thing I feel is love and forgiveness in my heart instead of the anger I felt for so long.  I find myself in the same place I use to be at, but this time… I am different. I am stronger. I am grateful.

“A broken heart is an opportunity”

Lately, my broken heart has come to surface. I’ve tried, over the course of 3 years, to be strong… well, what I presume strong is. In doing so I’ve put out the great fire in my heart.

Being the dramatica that I am, I’ve had many heartbreaks…. Every unrequited crush, every tortilla que se me quemo, every unfairness that has crossed my path, any pain that my loved ones have felt, my cocodrillo tears…that heartache that was felt to the core….I own it…I’ve never denied my heart to throw herself on the floor, cry, and scream….and break…. but also le doy sus coscorones, like my mami would give me, and tell her to get the hell back up…vale mas cabrona!

I’ve told myself over and over that I needed to mend myself back up…aguantate and I mean NOWput your big girl panties, double spanks, a little mascara, some lip gloss and vamonos….get it together.  Crying only in the shower…or in company of someone who was just as broken hearted as me. My poor  little heart keeper is working 24/7, a chingas,  to mend my tears and broken seams and I demanded he build a wall so high that now I can’t even see my heart. I can’t feel her…and no one can see her. Where’s the warmth? The fire?

Sometimes, one just bends and folds and is pulled a little too much causing your heart to tear at the seam, or at its weakest point.  Y sopatelas….your exposed beyond repair.  In my head I picture that little piece of paper in my wallet with all my important information that I’ve been carrying around since…Quen sabe….The other day,  as I took it out to look at it, it tore. A heart, just like those important pieces of paper, photographs, prayers, momentos that have lugged around for years, gets worn out. For many years I blamed myself but as I sit here thinking about how I’ve managed to wear out a little piece of paper, I really feel that its inevitable. Any heart that is mangled around, will tear…break…llora….

This is something that has been marinating in my head for the past few weeks. I’m not going to hid the fact that my heart has been broken beyond my understanding, many times…or that I am now starting to realize that maybe I shouldn’t of built the Berlin wall around it but I just had this feeling in my gut that THIS wasn’t the way. I want my flame back, I don’t want those walls around my heart anymore.

So, as I always do, I asked Diosito and the Angelitos to guide me.  My prayers were answered in the form of a youtube video, I’m sure my nephews were messing with youtube and somehow stumbled across this video…but it was just what I needed… Coincidence? Or…When did God  become media savvy? LOL

I sometimes think I’m crazy, and I really don’t care if I am or not…lol…because I’m on my own path, learning lessons, and I know that Diosito is guiding me. He knows that I, as everyone else,  needs rocks thrown at us.  I can’t understand subtleties.  After hearing this video, it was clear to me that what I have done to my heart was hurting her more than helping. I’ve been going about it the wrong way. What I perceived to be strong, wasn’t. Being strong is embracing that broken heart….” A broken heart is an opportunity….”

‘It’s not that I’m still broken hearted, that’s not what ails me. I hope to embrace all my lessons,  love, life, and the idea of opening up my heart again to love…. to the possiblity of finding love or another broken heart.

The video is kinda lengthy… and new to me…but it served it purpose. So I’m leaving it at that…taking what I needed from it…leaving what I didn’t need….an opportunity to learn and heal…

 

 

I’m not crazy, just dramatic

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So, I wasn’t planning on sharing this with the world but pa que chingados do I have a blog for if I’m going to be hiding who I really am. I’ve always been very vocal and upfront about my love affair with food…. Mostly, I can care less about what people think about me. It is what I think about myself that hurts me and so a mixture of issues have developed over the past few…well…all my life…

A few weeks ago I had a break down at the doctor’s office. I usually see a very lovely PA who is heaven sent. Como chinga a la chingada when I go but that’s exactly what I need. Someone  who’s straight forward and will give me a little pujoncito when I’m being stubborn. Well, they accidentally scheduled me in with a new pcp. He’s new, he’s young, he’s drop dead gorgeous, he’s fit…a little to short for my liking… Well, again, like always my weight and food issues were brought up and he said, “Well instead of eating a whole pint of ice cream why don’t you have one cookie.” Umm…#1 You look starved, I want to feed you some posole or chiles rellenos. #2 Who only eats 1 cookie? I sure the hell don’t and as I thought this I stopped listening to his blah blah because I was envisioning oreos…mmmm…Anyways, long story short…..I cried my eyes out because all I want to do is eat.  You can’t deny a foodie food. I saw that judgmental  look on his eyes. In the words of Mama Ru(paul) “Only Judy can judge.”

I can totally get that some people don’t understand what goes on in my head because most of the time I sure don’t know what the hell goes on…LOL but its so hard for people that haven’t had weight problems to be accepting to the idea that its hard to say no. With my gall bladder being taken out and being sensitive to foods that I love… Olga la gorda has reared her ugly face again.  I asked if he would send me to a nutritionist and instead suggested a psychologist and a little sprinkle of anti anxiety meds. Being that I live inside a bubble and will not take anything in fear that it will hurt me, I said no, but I agreed to see a psychologist.

So, today I officially sat on my first couch. I didn’t like it…so I asked if I can sit on the chair. She sat on the couch instead…LOL. Mostly this initial session consisted of me answering questions and then giving a speech on why and then wanting to retract everything because it made me sound crazy. “I mean, I am, but I’m not. I’m just over dramatic” was my closing statement….lol. Life is not black and white….I live in the gray!!

She explained that a lot of the things we carry are like that scene from The Incredibles where Mr. Incredible is  running from the black tar blobs that are being shot at him. Once something, words, a situation, hardships, or a trauma are being thrown at you…they sometimes stick to you. They grow and grow and grow and eventually they consume you.  I thought about long and hard on the way home and decided that I would release those tar blobs chingaderas that have been attaching and growing on me.

I know that I’ve been in much darker places in life. I know what I am and what I am not. I know that I am thankful for all the hardships because they are the reason I am stronger..I know that I have come a long way but…. Sometimes you just need help and that is where I’m standing now…stuck…not letting myself move forward because I’ve attached significant meaning to these toxic tar blobs.   When you actually get the time to sit down, calm your body, and look yourself in the mirror, you don’t see who you have imagined all this time.  But, you will continue to be stuck if you don’t reach out for help. Its hard, being stubborn and all, but you make a choice. I’m choosing to put my big girl panties on y pos nimodo…like my papi said the other day… “Y que se vaya a la chingada madre…para que batallan.” Sometimes you just need to let it go.

Now is the best time to let go. I’ve seen a lot of people moving towards a healthy way of life and I have this feeling of hope. We all get through the muck one step at a time.

 

 

 

 

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Luna Lunera Cascabelera…My mami use to sing us this song when we were young.

  The sounds of the night relax me and light from the moon sets the stage for nostalgia. The bright moon reminds me of my great grandparents. We would spend summers in Acuna and on cool nights we would sleep outside on a mattress. All of us sisters and cousins….amontonadas, all piled up.  No cucuys out there, no worries,  just us and Diosito. The sound of the wind would rock me to sleep.

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So I feel I’m being held hostage by Mr. Skunk. I opened the back door to go outside and I was greeted by a skunk ass staring right at me. I closed the screen door a chingas and ran like I just heard the paletero. My house is old so my running caused a earthquake. All there was for me to do was say “Fe fi fo fum”, instead I screamed, “Aye Chinga“….I guess the do never made it out my mouth….my house shook, my foot steps rumbled, my shelves rattled, and a picture frame that I have on a shelf fell. Mr. Skunk is out to get me!!

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Una salsita hecha en molcajete de mami.

A salsita made in the molcajete by my mom.

La vida se me hace desabrida sin mi salsita.

Life is bland without my salsita.