Tag Archives: grown up

All work no play makes Jack a dull boy

I’m exhausted, but I can’t sleep so I’ll write.  The bones in my back are curling over and reaching for the mattress as the still air stings my eyes.  What do I want from me?!  I want something from me, but I can’t put my finger on what exactly.

It’d be nice, in moments like these, to have a pretty love to curl up with.  “In moments like these” being the stand out phrase.  I’ve given up on dating, or at least any active search on my part … for now.

Honestly, a partner person takes a lot of energy.  Energy that is very focused and fueled right now by artistic and spiritual/therapeutic pursuits.  Still, in moments like these, it’d be nice to have a honey to snuggle with.

Cuddling might silence mah’ mind.  Right?  Meh, who knows. Every night it fights against bed time to solve all problems, worries, and wonders.

Alas, only a couple of problems, worries, and wonders were solved yesterday. And such clarity had very little to do with my meandering contemplations. They resulted, I believe, from the dialogue had with the outside world when I participated in a group Think Tank.

I’ve been so obsessed with my book promotion that I haven’t sufficiently fed or nurtured my inner self.  Everything I read, everything I think about has to do with finishing “The Task at Hand.”  “The Task at hand” being promoting my book a.k.a. finishing 50 pages of research on all the phenomenal bloggists and online magazines I’d love to have review it and emailing each one or working for money at the B Job or showing up for people I love when they need me or attempting to complete my written therapy assignments.

After 3 weeks of this routine, I feel hunger pains, the growing dejection of a spirit starved for …

ART.  Other people’s art.  Films, Books, Plays, Music, Blog Posts, and Conversation.

As my friend says, “Vanessa, you can’t be a grown up all the time.”

I lent my grandma When God was A Woman before finishing it because I was so excited about it.  I have to stop doing that!  Gah.  I hate starting a new book before finishing the last one.  I’ve just been stuck, waiting on it and Overworking … When the truth is: I need ART!  Other people’s art.  Films, Books, Plays, Music, Blog Posts, and Conversation.

Although I spent yesterday from 5am – 2pm working on my book promotion, I finally forced myself to take contrary action.  Thank Baby Jesus in da manger!  From yesterday at 2pm until now, I’ve watered my plant Ms. Gloria Estefan isn’t in a Mariachi band, bathed, napped, ate, and participated in a stimulating think tank conversation with a bunch of refreshing, youthful artists where wonderful insights replenished me once again.

Then I came home and prayed/meditated.  After which, I started mulling over all there is TO DO and then a thought ROARED, GROWLED, SCOWLED at me, “YOU NEED TO STOP THINKING ABOUT YOUR TO DOs!” … I needed a book — someone else’s feelings and musings — and BAD.  I knew I needed a book that The Kid not The Adult in me would pick.  A book that isn’t about marketing or film distribution or filmmaker interviews …Gah!

I breathed in deep and accepted that I probably wouldn’t get back When God was a Woman for a while.  I reached over to my unread stack of books and picked Conversations before the end of Time, which strangely resulted being about “exploring new ways of making art that reconnects directly with the world.”  The core discussion of our think tank dialogue!  Yowza.

There’s a remarkable quote in the book that sheds a lot of light on why it is I get so famished and bored inside when I don’t experience enough of other people’s art. Routinely, a starvation will set in that fills my brain with a rage that causes it to throw itself against my skull over and over and over again.  The author writes:

… I was beginning to understand how the shared experience of dialogue allows one to have and maintain one’s own point of view, while at the same time trying to understand and include another’s.  I began to see what was needed was not a monologue … but a dialogue in which I did not necessarily have a program of my own, but would simply create an empty space for whatever specific process was trying to happen.

To quiet one’s mind and embrace the influx of outside ideas proves to be a meditative and intellectually-expanding process.  For me, experiencing other people’s art isn’t leisure, but necessity.  Maybe it’s leisure too, but it’s hard for a me to enjoy the activity if I think of it that way.  Workaholism is one mean old hag!  A Workaholic, according to some free dictionary I found online, is defined as “a person who works compulsively at the expense of other pursuits.”

Ayayayayeee! Lucyeeeee!  Awareness is the first step, Acceptance is the second step, and Action is the third step.

My friend is right.  I can’t be a grown up ALL THE TIME.  I must schedule time for play in order to BROADEN my intellectual, spiritual, and creative understanding and more importantly, my personal joy.  Adult society undervalues Joy immensely.

Therefore I must read, see, and hear some cool stuff ASAP!  Dance too!

Maybe if I do I’ll turn into this:

And stop being this:


My Baby Sister Grows Up.

So, my baby sister turned 18 years old yesterday and I’m a bit of a stressed out worried mess right now.

I’m mortified for her.  Why?  Because she’s officially in charge of her life.  Neither I or my mother can dictate to her now what time she’s to be home, what she can and can’t drink, that she can’t do drugs, that she can’t date x, y, and z, that she must go to school, that she must do anything good for herself.

This reality both deeply panics and relieves me.  As an older sister, 9 years her senior, I have not been the most perfect elder sibling (in my opinion), but I have tried my best.  Namely, I’ve always tried to protect her from harm and guide her towards safety, wholesomeness, and working for her dreams.  Quite honestly, I didn’t do this in the healthiest way possible.  While we were growing up, I didn’t really know any other ways so I scowled, screamed, guilted, grounded, and spanked.

Not all the time, of course, but when I felt “the fear” and therefore, that she “needed to be taught a lesson for her own good.”  I don’t regret my intention, which was to protect her from the perils of the world or to teach her how to stay out of harm’s way, but I do regret many of the methods I used in doing so.

Over the past 2 years, however, I’ve become really conscious of the dysfunctional 1950s Dad-style discipline I was inflicting on the person I loved the most and its ramifications on our relationship.  I sadly realized that a distance and distrust had developed on both our ends towards each other while I was “teaching her the right way and protecting her.”

She, like her older sister (me 😉 ), has turned out to be much of “A Wild Child.”  The only difference between the two of us is that she started at age 12 and I started at age 18, and I knew how to hide it well.  I was a straight-A student and career-driven workaholic. My motto was always, “Work Hard and Party Hard.”  Also, there’s a saying in Cuba that goes “Si nadas desnuda, guarda la ropa,” which translates to “If you swim naked, hide your clothes.”  I did just that.

My little sister, on the other hand, wears her “wild times” on her sleeve just like her big heart.  A sweeter, more loving and loyal sister, I could never have asked for.  She’s as endearingly transparent as a puppy who sees the front door wide-open.  Therefore, I ALWAYS know — whether she tells me or not — what mayhem she’s getting into or about to embark upon.

Yet, over these past 2 years, through my own personal healing and self-discovery, I’ve learned that all I can do as a loving and supportive older sister to HELP HER is: A) Let her make her own mistakes B) Love her through them, without guilt trips or harsh judgments and C) Show up for her whenever she needs me, but not at the cost of my sanity.

This is fucking hard … and also, spiritually liberating.

I have to accept more and more each day there’s a limited amount of things I can really do for my baby sis’, at this point and for the rest of our lives, because, as of yesterday, she’s a grown woman.  They go as follows:

1. Listen to her (without judgment)

2. Love her  (without expectation)

3. Give her advice (without forcing her to take my advice)

4. Show up for her when she needs me (without enabling her misbehavior or sacrificing my sanity in the process)

5. Let her make her own mistakes (without worry and fear for her safety … as much as possible)

6. Breathe in & Breathe Out (without thought)

7. Pray for her (with complete faith)

8. Trust she has her own God (in complete surrender)

9. Trust that she’s going to be more than “just fine,” but in fact “Great”

10. Blog about it

and

11. Eat some dynamite cake.

CONNECT 4 CHAMPIONS: TIED AGAIN


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