Red

Everyone who’s known me for longer than 15 minutes, probably knows that I am big fan of my so-called life. So much so that I even wrote a fan fiction about it.

If you asked me when I was 20, I’d tell you that fan fictions were the most ridiculous things ever written. Oh well, people change.

The thing is, from time to time, I die my hair red, like the character Angela Chase did in the show, on the very first episode. When I do that, I don’t recognize myself in the mirror at all. I don’t think I look good either. It’s just something I feel like I *have* to do as if I had no option. And the feeling takes over me.

Looking back at the pictures from when my hair was red, I was able to see a similarity.

It was red when we hopped on the plane to move to Canada.

It was red through almost all the 4 years in which I had to keep working at a job I hated.

It was always red… when I couldn’t handle things.

It was like I wanted to give Michele a break and let this red-haired person take over for her. I knew Michele couldn’t do it, but maybe this other woman I saw in the mirror could. Michele was probably crawling under a rock somewhere.

So, the other day my husband looks and me and tells me I look calm. Which is always the goal but not something I can achieve on a baily basis.

I looked in the mirror and I saw an old girl with dusty blonde hair. She looked like me. And I knew my husband was right. If I was being brave enough to face the world as myself, I was having a good day.

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Slow down

My desk in a snow day

I don’t like writing about how I felt when someone I loved died. The reason for that is I want to look back one day and be able to read my old blog posts without touching the memories that hurt. As if life had been amazing the whole time. I think this is why I love watching old movies so much. The movies I watched for the first time when I was kid, I mean. I don’t remember the context and I don’t remember what was going on in my home. It probably sucked. But for a moment, me, my mom and my dad were together, watching Eddie Murphy come to America for the first time and all I remember is how hard they were laughing at jokes I didn’t quite understand at the time.

Every movie sends me back to a moment in my life when I felt very safe, even though I probably wasn’t. Even though I probably have things 1000 times more figured out at this point of my life than my parents ever did, I still refer to childhood memories as my safe space. I worry that I give my children the very same sense of security so they can feel recharged and peaceful when they grow up every time they come back home, just like I do.

The movies slow me down, calm me down and help me think straight. Sometimes I just want to sit here and write about whatever it was that I watched last. But the truth is, people still died.

a Monday

It’s fine.

After years of being petrified by fear, for a moment, I decided to live. Sit on the floor and play legos with my girls.

There are so many memories that I never made because I couldn’t move out of being scared. The tornado I was preparing for, never came though. But I feared it… because I couldn’t just be unrealistically optimistic. That reality seamed like just a possibility. Even though it was, in fact, reality.

So at one point, it just became too much. The world was so scary and so overwhelming that I burst into numbness. I wasn’t sad or scared anymore. I was just… there. Now. In the present. Which is a rare thing for me, but has always been a goal.

I thought about the little things around me that made me happy. A Hallmark Christmas movie. Knitting. Drawing. Everything I could touch and be. Right now. Not making plans for tomorrow or worrying about what it could bring.

And, for a second, I wasn’t scared. I wondered if that was happiness and wondered if this is how people without anxiety lived. I also wondered how long I could make it last. I felt like I deserved it.

It was an intense Monday.

Letter to myself

I found a letter I wrote to myself 5 years ago. Apparently, I’ve been this dramatic for a very long time.

Dear future me,

Beyond all the crying, the screaming and them not doing what you tell them to, there’s a moment you visit from time to time as a parent. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, you cannot sleep. You don’t want to. Because you are holding your baby. Sleeping  in your sore, tired arms. Nothing in the world can make you let go.

The babies are there to remind you that everything is ok and that you’re the luckiest person in the world, because you are their parent.

You think far away thoughts like “I’m gonna miss you when you go off to college, little ones.” … because you know time flies. You’ve seen it happen before. You know you are gonna miss these babies holding your legs and stretching those little arms in your direction begging you to hold them. The little faces they make.

You know they won’t be doing that for long. When was the last time you hugged your parents and let time fly by? Do you even remember? I bet your mom misses her baby too.

In a couple years your arms won’t be so sore and you’ll get a lot more sleep… and you’ll miss these days. You’ll miss being the only person in the world your babies need to be happy.

You’ll miss having them home. Sleeping over your tummy.

I’m sorry I can’t freeze time for you, honey. I do not have the power to bring you back to this moment , years from now when you’re finally feeling this… but I can tell you one thing: Even though this moment, mid-night September 10, 2015 is gone, you are one lucky girl for having lived it.

All the best,

A younger you.

I’m not Lula Mae anymore

I think I’ve changed. Hopefully for the better, although, not entirely.

I used to think that the universe would punish me if I ever got mad at anyone. I actually googled “what would Jesus do?” at one point trying to suppress negative feelings. That’s the part where I think I’ve changed for the worse. I don’t avoid conflict as much as I used to. It has surprisingly worked in my favor, actually. Not that I am proud of it. Calling people out on their shit kinda became… necessary.

Other than becoming a worse person, I have also changed my preferences in random things dramatically!

I seem to love tomatoes and onions. Something I removed from every single sandwich I had until I was probably 30.

But the biggest change was that I don’t hate the city I grew up in anymore. I remember why I left, but I don’t hate it at all. I remember my dreams, my wishes and the movies I watched as I imaged what my life would be like far away from that horrible beach I didn’t step foot in for good 10 years even though it was figuratively across the street. I remember hating it so much.

Now, I love it there. I love the simplicity of the people. I love the food. I love the heat. The water is healing.

I guess I only had a certain amount of hate available in my body and I ended up redirecting it. Using it all up toward certain people.

Probably a fair trade. My beach never hurt anyone.

Living in the now

This picture is perfect.

Real photographers could criticize it enough, I am sure. But it is perfect, look:

This is a picture of my dad’s ultimate dream life. That’s him sitting on that chair. In the water, you can see my mom and her grandkids.

This is all my dad wants from life, he told me. He said, he just wants to sit at the beach and watch the kids grow.

What a great dream to have. So impressively achievable.

So, after we visited him in January, I decided to never let go of my dad again. Wherever the children go, he’d go. Watch them grow.

That was in January, though. We all know what happened next.

I feel like I am living in a Will Smith movie. It’s weird even writing the words “but then, the virus came”. Now, he is alone at the beach… and the 4 of us are here, quite desperate.

This pandemic made so many decisions feel urgent. Made us miss so many simple things.

As soon as we can, we are going to do all the things that we couldn’t do for so many months.

As soon as I can, I’m gonna sit at the beach with my dad.

Watch the kids grow. Never let go.

Me, Alanis and the books

It’s funny because I never met my grandfather. None of them, actually. Yet, I have inherited something very particular from each one of them.

My maternal grandfather loved books and alpino chocolate, just like I do. He was also a painter like me. He left me a collection of old books and paintings. Some of them made by him. I cherish them, deeply.

Now, my paternal grandfather gave my obsession for miniatures. And, when I say obsession, I quite possibly mean actual obsession, considering he had severe mental disorders. Oh, well, I guess I got more than one thing from him.

Today on pinterest I came across something that would certainly please him. Miniature places book shelf inserts!

They picture is not miine and the link will get you to the owner’s Etsy shop.

Part of me wants to live in those little scenarios. A large part.

Models are definitely something I loved about being an architect and, when combined with books, it is just so appealing to me, I can barely explain. – Although I am sure there is a very deep explanation.

Watching Alanis in her home library makes me happy. It gives me a good sense of direction and goal… I aim for a library like that. Which makes me very thankful for audiobooks. I can listen to them while I work since my eyes aren’t what they used to me and, specially if I am reading a biography, I love to listen to books that are being read by the author… I still get the actual book though. I need it.

Also, since I trust Alanis’s mentoring so much, I am tempted to read all the books she recommended in here:

hum…

Note to self: You gotta make this list.

Relaxing

As we waited for a vaccine, a cure or a sudden end of COVID19, my mom and I decided to watch a few feel-good movies from our past this weekend.

My kids were mostly sitting on the floor, playing with their legos through basically the 5 movies. And I thought, pandemic or no pandemic, life could never possibly be better than this. Sitting on my couch, watching old movies with my mom as my kids play. It is the dream, I tell you.

These were our picks in the actual order that we watched and I am not going to rate them because you can’t rate kid-friendly perfection!

Binge watching anything with coffee just has to be my favorite thing in life. Is that a profession?

Take care!