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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Home is where the heart is

Throughout our life Diosito presents us with these wonderful progressive opportunities to transition from our current life to different life. Some gracefully skate through these transitions. They embrace their surroundings and glide though these moments untouched, free of worry…music full blast…their confidence intact. I, on the other hand, have always been that chunky gordita, at Skate Land, trying to skate…legs shaking…falling on my nalgas and secretly wishing I was one of those pretty, skinny girls zooming past me. This is exactly how I handle change. Lately, I’ve been hit with a chingaso of change so I feel like that chunky little girl holding on to the rails for dear life. Sad to say, I’m comfortably ok with holding on.

The other day as I furiously went Rambo on my yearly summer rancho ant infestation…ok…so I wasn’t the valiant Rambo I wish I was…I kinda flew over the cuckoo’s nest. I cried.  These are demon ants from hell! They are everywhere, nothing kills them and I’m sure they conspire at night in attempts to drive me out. I imagine them in my restroom aka “The war room” plotting ways to make my life a living hell…So,  in my ant induced stressed and deranged state of mind, my boyfriend decides to ask me to move in with him. I’m happy he wants to be the fearless Darrel (Walking dead ) who rescues me from these zombie ants but that threw me over the bridge. I’m moving at work, I’m going to school, a rekindled relationship…talks of a new car, a washing machine that doesn’t make noise or shake the whole house…anxiety from my grocery list for 2. Seeing all that food on my list threw me into food anxiety mood. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been shedding a lot of tears lately and I’ve had a few food sneaky sneakies.

My home, my casitia,  is…me…my own…my safety. Those cracked walls with peeling paint have seen me through thick and thin.They know my tears and they know my laughter.  I love my little piece of old ranchito heaven…well…I don’t love the crazy ants but I love everything else. Although I love my papasito and I know that it is him I want to be with… my initial reaction was a freak out…at night…in the shower and if I wasn’t always with him all the time, I’m sure I Quotes About Moving On 0043-45 (6)would of had a late night therapy session with my favorite beau, a bucket of dulce de leche ice cream. That is my favorite kind of therapy.

Anyways, that chingaso has really forced me to stop and take a look at what is happening around me.  I feel sad that I’m losing everything that has been a constant in my life even if most of what’s changing I want to leave behind. I feel that in all aspects of my life, all my old chapters are closing. Moving from  mi casita viejita symbolically represents that change. My boyfriend talked about what I don’t need because he can provide and I took it personal. I  felt that all MY old things, my comforts, were being tossed out. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a recovering hoarder. Well…ok…I kinda still, I just like to say I’ve recovered.  I’m aware of this and I’m aware that half of the things that I can’t let go should be let go.  I had a knot in my throat, pero me aguante because I know that I can’t be holding on to useless things. Old things, torn thing, things that no longer serve their purpose….litteraly….and metaphoricaly thinking. But…like always…I can’t help but to want to hold on for dear life…like that chunky little girl at Skate Land.

So…today I went home after school to try to confront my change. Those last staggering rain drops and the smell of tierita  mojada you can only find when you’re  surrounded by sweet mother nature made the walk to my back door a lot harder. It helped that my 3yr old nephew was holding my hand. He saw me crying and he said, “Tia, no llora. Let’s go.”

109564-Great+life+quotes+thoughts+choSo with my nephew there to keep me company, I started going through my things. I took picture frames off the wall…my walls bare, stripped of all memories, but I felt happy and for the first time in a long time I ran with that happiness. I allowed myself to accept the love, embrace forgiveness, allow help….his hugs and kisses, the comfort he gives my heart, and the love he shows me daily. I allowed my anxiety to pass through like that cool breeze that passes though my house on rainy days. I decided that I’m going to embrace all these beautiful shifts, mostly because only by embracing these transitions will I allow myself to let go of the old.

 

 

My Wednesday Afternoon10507823_734690633256512_1665027205_n

Sometimes with the hysteria of life we find ourselves programmed to just get things done. Lately, I’ve been programed to mad cow delirious. Get,a chingas, to work, finish work, get those problems solved, feed the chickens and the burro, take a shower, do this, do that, jump through hoops, do a pirouette…a maroma …. Dispite being tired, I agreed to watch mis amores because I missed them. The boys were peacefully minding their own business outside, my dad was working on his truck, and I found a chair to plop myself on. ” Aye Diosito mio”, is what I said when my pompas met that beautifully rusted chair.  As I sat outside watching mis papasitos chulos, a gust of cool fresh air blew into my face. I asked myself tiredly, “Que chingados Lili,” because, being the loca that I am, I often scold myself in third person. LOL. I KNOW someone out there does the same!  I’m confident I’m not the only kooky out there.  So anyways, I realized that because I was so busy being zombiefied I was missing out on all the beautiful things going on around me. So, I got up. I sat next to my cutie while he serviced my car. He ran to my dad’s tool box and gathered some tools. He said he would fix Tia’s tires and put gas like his papi does. After that he saw his brother was playing with the mangera… he ran, stripped down to his calzoncillos and began playing in the muddy water. Just like 10597314_257812371079268_375757296_nthat, without giving it a second thought. I would do anything to be free like that again. I laughed, took my shoes off, and joined the fun. Underneath all the chaos of 3 boys laughing, fighting, and splashing I heard my dad singing to a old-school bolero on the staticy AM La Rancherita del Aire. I stopped what I was doing, listened, smiled, and took the time to thank Diosito for moments like this that allow me to feel unconditional, unrestricted happiness. It brought tears to my eyes.

To gain, we must lose

While growing up my mami always tried to steer us in the right direction. I remember every Sunday morning we would get up early, go to Spanish mass to sing in the choir, then catechism, then go eat some tacos. When I got older, we would get up early, I would go to Sunday mass, teach catechism, then go eat some tacos. Ok, ok…so I was there for the tacos…lol.

At that time, I have to say,  that my faith was not my own, it was my mami’s unconditional love and faith in Diosito that kept me going. So soon, I abandoned ship, and for literally, most of my 20’s I walked the Earth with no direction and no faith in God. I’ve lived a lot of, in my eyes, melodramatic, unnecessary  heartache, mostly all inflicted by me and could of been avoided if I would of loved myself enough. I always thought love was the answer… all love, universal love, romantic love, self love… it wasi_have_feeling_that_my_guardian_angel_often_looks_like_this__2013-07-02 my way out, my savior, so I searched for it, I followed it, and in my confusion I lost sight of Diosito, I lost everything.   It wasn’t until a few years ago, in total surrender and relinquish of control , that I saw Diosito hadn’t abandoned me like I had Him. A LOT of growing has happened since…a lot of coscorones coming from up above.

This weekend I went to church for the first time in many, many, MANY years.  My faith…well….only Diosito understands it and my need to not conform to any specific space. My love for HIM is here at home and all around me…in my heart. I have this mystic view of life, for that, I have my papi to thank for. You know, reality is,  my spirituality has grown in seeing Diosito  change my life, change the person I am, and change the people around me…. knowing that there is a purpose, a path in our life, a lesson to learn, love to give, people to love and understand makes my faith grow.  Trying to embrace my papi’s spiritual believes and combine them with my mami’s traditional teachings was hard and confusing and it was a hard and grueling  task to beautifully join the two in such a way that works for only me. I know, now, that in order to find God, I needed to lose sight of Him first. Somehow I feel it was all planned this way…and now…this path of healing has led me back to where I never thought I’d set foot again and at my own will.

The Father’s sermon talked about gaining more when you lose. I smiled quietly to myself because, as always, mi Diosito is always throwing hints at me. To be stripped of everything is hard but in the end it’s liberating and what you gain from that struggle is far more valuable. I started  thinking about the things I’ve lost in life…and, in reality, I shouldn’t complain…I came to realize how dramatica I was. I didn’t embrace the challenge, I didn’t trust Diosito enough to know that something better was in store for me.  Its hard to look past my ego’s temper tantrums. I still throw myself on the floor, kick my feet up in the air, throw my shoes off, and cry my crocodile tear like the terca y caprichuda monstra that comes out at times, but I think I have a tad bit, un cachito,  more sense under my belt… now… to get it together.

 We all lose, some loss is far more greater than others,  but none the less, it is a loss and its felt in our hearts. At times of great loss is when we have it all…we have that unconditional love and guidance that comes from our Diosito. He never abandons his children no matter how far way you are from Him.

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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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My dancing partner is taking a break. I’m suppose to be cleaning w/ the broom but who can say no to dancing to Celoso by Toppaz.

This song brings back childhood memories of being in Mexico. Spending summers with my prima Laura… Driving down my abuelita Lilia’s callejon. Potholes everywhere, my body swaying from the bumps, the tienditas where I always went to buy my coca cola and rancheritos passing by . The bright sun’s heat coming in through my Tio Carlos blue van. Looking out the window and feeling comfortably home. I miss my Mexico…

As this memory beautifully plays in my mind,  somber  memories creep up…dancing drunk to this song, tears rolling down after drinking a bottle of wine start coming to me…. cleaning brokenhearted. Closing my eyes…singing at the top of my lungs,  para desahogarme. Swaying my body to sooth my soul…. and only to find myself opening my eyes to an Islander’s deceiving smile.

In the end, This song….music…. has seen my heart’s most inconsolable collapses and my most treasured joys.

 

 

 

 

Confessions of a Big Shit Chingona

Sometimes you think you’re all big shit chingona.You have a sense of empowerment…emancipation…relief… when you’ve moved forward and have overcome something, or people, that have hurt you.  I’m suppose to be a  better person, I’m suppose to be looking for peace, forgiving…letting go…moving forward…. But I find myself fuming with anger, resentful, casting blame, feeling that losing control is not acceptable… But sometimes you’re so overwhelmed, beyond control,  by emotions and memories…and all of a sudden everything you’ve been working towards is thrown out the window.

They say you never forget your first love. I wish I could forget mine but forgetting would mean avoiding the pain…

I’ve received a lot of blows to my heart and my heart is now like…hmmm….. a  hobbits foot. Filled with callos, thorned, and can withstand the roughness of every step.

You should always make it a point to walk away from people who hurt you, as hard as that may be, you have to. Its a process, a long one. A hard one. You forgive yourself and those who hurt you… you learn to love yourself and embrace the people who wpid-img_64351428990169.jpegsurround you with happiness, and you become the beautiful person that you deserve to be and have always been deep down. This will lay down the gravel for that new path. And you do this for yourself. Just yourself.

Life always gives you opportunities to look back. I’ve been praying for an opportunity to let go of my past but when I was confronted by that monster of years past, I was thrown against the wall. I cried, llore…not for him…not for me, but for that pain. That heartache. That pendeja that I use to be. I was carried away by memories…to that winter night alone in bed. I remember the warmth of my tears rolling down my face.  I could feel the cold air in the back of my throat as I gasped for the breathe my sobs had taken away. And as I looked around, I wpid-img_64489783779110.jpegsaw that I was surrounded by the clutter of all the useless things I had lugged around for so long.

I saw myself in that room again but this time I was so enraged.  I said, “que te vallas a la chingada.”  People only have the power over you when you give it to them and for many years I was La Pendeja that  gave people the power to dictate my path. And in that moment of total emotional, exasperating, exposing  surrender, I found that I had the huevos to say no. No to his twisted account of things, no to his selfishness, to his fictitious love. I know I loved. I know I gave him everything I had and in doing so I learned the biggest lesson of a heartache. I deserve the same kind of love that I know I can give.

So yes….sometimes you think you’re big shit chingona…and then…. you realize that you ARE big shit chingona….and you wear it proudly because the wounds have turned to scars and those scars are a constant reminder that you have survived the deepest kind of pain, which ever that may be…how profoundly it is felt…. A heartache.

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“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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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!!