Thoughts & Insights

πŸ‡΅πŸ‡· Puerto Rico πŸ‡΅πŸ‡·

The past four weeks have been one devastating catastrophe after another. Wide spread hurricanes , flooding, earthquakes, fires and mudslides and not just in the Americas and island territories but in Asia as well. Our brothers and sisters are hurting all around the world but my motherland’s pain is the heartbreaker. Both literally and figuratively the spark of my existence has been put out. My grandmothers on both sides reside in the island of Puerto Rico. My Nana, my mothers mother, lives on the west coast beach town of Isabella just a stones throw away from Aguadilla. Just the town over, or two, lives my father’s mother in Arecibo. I call her Nani (pronounced Nanny). These strong pillars of our families are in there mid 60’s and late 70’s. Fierce and as beautiful as the day their mothers bore them. But here we are heads in our hands, hearts on our sleeves, tequila in our systems (at least mine — we’ll get to my coping rituals on a later post) hoping and praying to hear from our loved ones soon. Before I get on my soap box and blame the US and The Puerto Rican Bureaucracy for there mismanagement of resources, funds, and municipal duties let’s walk down memory lane. My very first memory of Puerto Rico only exist in Polaroids and Kodak developed film (or was it Fuji?). At about 6 or 9 months old my father and my mother came to Puerto Rico to present me to the motherland like the newborn princess of Mustafa and — damn I dunno Simba’s Momma like that — did years later. They both came from humble beginnings and we’re still in a humbled state but most proud of all this baby deliciousness and embarked the voyage to La Isla Bonita. Apparently I imploded on the plane at some point but that’s neither here nor there (no matter how down you think you are be wary of thy tap water). These are pictures of us happy, jubilant & living our best bad and boujie lives. My aunt was there, my uncle, my ride or die cousin-slash-sister was there. Beautiful vibes to be had I’m sure. The next time I went wasn’t until my freshman year of college. Those in between years were definitely an identity struggle. Not white enough to fit in with the richies, not black nor hood enough to be down, and well I didn’t speak Spanish well at all so there went my ‘Wepa’ card. Still don’t speak it fluently. With many of us Nueyoricans on the mainland we don’t make it back to our mother land well into our teens or adult lives. Could be socioeconomic, hustle and bustle, who knows but unless you have close family out there or are rich, you could easily never make the pilgrimage. My grandmother moved back to retire just before I went to college. My spirit animal, my aunt, planned to visit her, peer pressured my mother to join her (RIP Titi Lilly) and so we booked our tickets to Aguadilla. My aunt and I linked brains, bought mad booze from the armory and had a fucking blast. We helped grandma cook, we ate fruit on the patio and admired the garden. We told Nana how proud we were of her hard work raising four girls on her own and retiring; buying and building the home of her dreams! I even planted a watermelon plant and by plant I mean eat watermelon and spit the seeds into the garden. It was awesome! The next time or two (it’s blurry) I went with my body guard / best guy friend. We ate, danced, swam, and strip clubbed our way through the tourist trap of the east coast. Think ‘Fuck That’s Delicious’ but instead of a fat sexy ginger rapper picture a lanky freckled foul mouthed Puerto Rican (ok a slim female Bronson) and her humble protector Sexual Chocolate (big sexy aka Shawn). Oh, and our bad ass Vietnam friend Suzy came through taking bomb ass sexy pictures. It had been a deep dark time for me leading up to that trip and my down-ass sidekick & friend lifted me up. They truly infused my soul with the real “no diggidy, no doubt baby” I’d felt for the first time in a long time. I still remember that beautiful cake said homegirl bought for me on my 25th birthday (Love you Suze!).

My island, no matter the occasion, was sweet and kind every time. And beautiful, good damn my Puerto Rico is beautiful. The most beautiful place in the world. I say that because its who I am, of course, but also because she lit af. Beautiful people, rich sites, gorgeous beaches! I love you Greece but Puerto Rico shits on your beaches (lo siento). Just saying! But the people, oh the people, they’re gems. That’s what gravitated me to the Greeks. They keep it real but they are kind, and oh are they hard working but happy to be alive. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! I mean hello, duh! That’s how they got us! Christopher Columbus exclaimed we we’re “gentle, kind, and giving savages; they will make excellent slaves and servants”, or some shit like that (don’t sue me Christopher Columbus!). And here we are! Getting slammed by “mother-nature”. Days have gone by, no word from local government or perhaps coverage is just blatantly under served. Either way, it’s a shit show. Oh and the dam broke, the goddamn dam broke. Can’t make this shit up?!?! Listen, I don’t rant much, actually I do my best to be positive and light hearted. But there’s only so much Marley and Peach Flavored Bud Limerita that can keep an enormous amount of frustration at bay. It took a whole 72 hours for just mere hints as to where my Nana could be relocated. For all I know she’s floating on a fucking door like Rose from Titanic in the middle of some murky ass road-turned-river! Hello?! Can I get a Tweet, a flare signal, a hotline that even answers?!?! We gotta do better! We gotta get as rich and as informed as the parties holding us down and holding us back. Who’s going to bring dark to light? Who’s going to restore our home? Who’s going to care about us but us? “Yo soy Boricua, pa’que tu lo sepas!” Yo soy Africana, pa’que tu lo sepas! Y yo soy humana! This can easily become “I am woman here me roar” type shit. If something’s gotta give why not us? I mean we’ve been giving ourselves away this long why not give, build, and heal ourselves. We need to lock hands and elbows to see this through. And not only Puerto Rican’s but all the diasporas and disenfranchised. Time we stop playing the game or write the rules because life is written and we are given word. Words spark action. But however easy that may seem it is truly the follow-through-game that must remain impenetrable. Becoming unapologetically and obnoxiously obsessed with our passions, our communities, our goals, and our families is the only way we’ll succeed. “Quitate tu pa’ ponerme yo!” One love ☝🏼❀️ “Quitate tu…”

Intentions & Reflections βœπŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ€žπŸΌ

Today marks a new month, a new week, a new day. Just as I reflect on the past season a new season is upon us. Fall or harvest is just around the bend. Routinely now, on my white board located in my kitchen, I lay out a few to-do’s, goals, and reminders for days at a time. For Today, Sunday, September 3rd I laid out amongst a few other tasks to set my intentions & attend mass. I may or may not be the most spiritual and/or religious but guidance in any form is always welcomed. With that said, Catholic mass always finds its way back into my mind and heart for the simple fact it can be centering and it’s teachings sheer common sense. The responsorial hymn today was “lord, bring on success to the hands that work”. How does he always know? Just when I make the time for Him or the universe (whatever faith factor you’d like to place here) he makes the time for me and my concerns. He asked us to pray for those balancing work and family. He asked us to bless those under employed or unemployed. He asked us to acknowledge those who have lost and or gained a new job recently. He bestowed upon us a call of action to reciprocate our successes and help others gain or acknowledge their own.

My son, who joined me for mass, seemed intrigued by the whole to do. Squirming at first, than humming to the psalms, then back to chattering and cheerio consumption. His vibrancy (or determination to make the tight lipped service the time of his life) got us called to the alter for an introduction to the pastor and a blessing. Not sure if the pastor called upon us because we were clearly new faces at the small parish or he felt my plight in trying to keep Henri calm throughout service. But whatever the reason he called upon us and we gladly accepted. I can use all the blessings I can get. Navigating a career, parenthood, singlehood, a new love life — thanks GreeceπŸ’‹– and everyday ups & downs can be daunting. Knowing what I truly want, need, and deserve is a constant uphill battle. Everyday I work toward making the day count and looking back each night to say, no matter the turn out, today was a success. Even when I’ve completely nose dived into a cement wall of shit (metaphorically) I must claim “Today was a success!”

Sounds silly but it calms my anxiety and keeps me from beating the crap out of myself for things I can’t change or the things I wish I could have said or done. Action is better than no action right? Not to mention it keeps me from spiraling into a hole of defeat or worst-case -scenarios.

I urge you to lay out your intentions, successes, and reflections. Create a mantra of your own. “Today was a success, I’m a success, and the love and riches I deserve are on their way.”

I dedicate this post to the victims of hurricane HARVEY. May you find a way to feel at ease, seek comfort in knowing you succeeded in making it through, and believe you will rise again. Stay Houston strong.

Reporting Live from Greece πŸ‡¬πŸ‡·πŸ™‹πŸ»πŸ₯—

Well Hello there Forgeous! Nope, it’s not a typo; that’s just the way I feel. I’m forging through this paradise one cube of feta and serving of olives at a time. What a time to be alive?!? As I write this, fingers greased by the briny-olive oil of the cured olives on my breakfast plate I reflect on all the suffering and horrors going on in the world and the news lately but also all the blessings. From my accomplishments, to my failures, to this slamming Greek yogurt and local miel (honey), the evidence is clear that I’m the luckiest woman in the world. I have all the support of my family, both old and new, the best uplifting friends, my passions, my career, my sexy asf dimples and my health.

My hope on this beautiful morning is that all of you count your so called “curses” your blessings. The path to true happiness and purpose sure is a bumpy one but fuck if it isn’t the most thrilling, most fun, trek you’ll ever experience. In fact it’s the only one you’ll ever experience. So brush your scraped metaphoric elbows off, laugh, and give this world hell (or heaven, whichever you like best) but most of all give it your all! Get out there and explore yourself and the world.

I leave you with that my friends! I’ll be back later to update you on all the earlier posts, progress, and The Nueyo Rican Fem version of a Larry David binge fest that is my life. Oopa! (Greek for Wepa LOL)

Universe…Girl you crazy?!? Love you betch. πŸ’‹

Ever plan something to the tee, hit some bumps in the road, redirect, plan some more, fine tune it and sit back in awe and excitement that you made the impossible possible? Yes?!? Good. Well for me it happens a lot like it’s my job. No literally it’s my job. I’m an HR administrator, an EA to be exact and all day things seemingly are going swell until they’re not. So you reposition, make the calls, move the mountains, send the emails and pat your self on the back and do it three to four more times before lunch and head home. It’s my strong suit. Shifting, repositioning, and working under high pressure. I love making the winning score or saving the day. Even in my personal life, I rock the shit out of turning out diamonds from adversity. From literally bringing my mother back from the jaws of death to grinding the pavement to find the job of my dreams while 3 months postpartum (single may I add) to working 2 or 3 jobs to make sure myself and my mother lived comfortably. All that with a smile on my face and a song in my heart (and maybe a cocktail or 5…lol). Listen the point is, I gett’er done! This upcoming girl’s trip is no exception. It’s had drop ins and drop outs. Bookings to canceling to re-booking and then re-rebookings. You name it, this trip has had it and morphed, to a beautiful butterfly I may add. But the universe, my crazy RiRi of a universe (Rihanna is the best friend in my head) decided to give me one more curveball to fucking smash out the park. One of my best-friends and partner-in universe lovers dropped a bomb on me…BABY! Her creepy, shady-ass, drug loving of a landlord (likely in attempt to keep his knees; and not be crippled by a drug dealer or mafia hit…ok ok a story, I know, ::eye roll::) decided this would be a great time to hit said friend with an outstanding invoice for partial payments of rent dating back to 2014 (As if!). Mind you she’s been current since then and this is the first he’s sent notice of said discrepancy. Needless to say it’s not millions of dollars but it’s a nominal enough fee to throw a wrench in her “Fuck up some commas” good time in Greece. The caveat: it in turn fucks up my fucks because that leaves me to pick up the bill. The money budgeting, the OT, the credit card transfers and financial planning will have been for naught. I of course empathized and internalized but needless to say a small part of me still felt slighted and frankly taken advantage of. We’ve had months to plan for this and no cushion or fund had been created by her explicitly for this trip? Not only that, but this event just so happens to take place 2 weeks before our trip? #SAVAGE
I phoned a friend and immediately after that call, gave my son a bubble bath and poured me a vodka and strawberry-basil aqua fresca with a splash of seltzer. Then, and just then, like a ton of bricks a masculine energy came over me and started yelling “you got this, they don’t want y’all in Greece, they don’t want y’all maxing and relaxing.” “You’re going to come back stronger, smarter, faster, richer than ever!” And so I kept repeating it and yelling it out loud and telling Henri, “We got this!” as he smiled holding some large faux gold earrings he found hiding in a storage ottoman against a wall in my bedroom. I dusted off some credit cards I hadn’t used in months. Placed them in plain site or at least where I could find them again and said “I got this!” I looked up our bookings, thought of some options for her to contribute what she could and I am leaving the rest up to the universe. Because I can only control what I can control. I can kick ass at work and earn more. I can shift around my own finances. I can ask an accompanying “day one” to front some cash until my troubled friend can pay me back. The matter of the fact is the universe has my back, it has her back and it has the collective’s back. We will get to Greece, have the time of our lives, and come back stronger, faster, wiser, and richer! And that’s a fact, jack!

Some Thank God It’s Any Day Quotes! Enjoy :)

We can all use a pick me up. Or some words that resonate. Here are few quotes, one liners, and words of wisdom that have really moved me. Have a lovely weekend!

“Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable” — Coco Chanel

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only doors” — Joseph Campbell

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” — Winston Churchill

“Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less breathe more; talk less say more; hate less, love more; and all good things will be yours” — Swedish proverb

Remember the chances of you being born, to your parents, at the time your were born, at the place you were born is 1 to 400 Trillion. You are miraculous!