Tuesday, January 3, 2017

6 Months Ago: Year End Reflections


6 months ago I still struggled with irrational fears. That she'd be hurt, kidnapped, or worse. Then, just like that a voice said "you continue to cling on to your daughter to hide from yourself."

6 months ago I was still lost, i was still somewhat broken. I was still waiting for that thing, that chance, that shot, that purpose thing everyone talked about. 6 months ago I was still mourning my daughter's departure, even though she was home from college. I was still mourning our lives together, the one before she went off to start her own. 6 months ago my life seemed to stand still while everything aroudn me seemed to change. I had a new home, new roommates, new life, what was I suppose to do now? 6 months ago I was trying to live the life I said I would after my baby left home. I didnt have the funds to travel like I said I would, I dint  have the drive that I thought i would, and more important I dint have the excitment I thought i woul feel. I cried for what felt like 3 days straight after she left for college. Then, I numbed my pain by working 10-12 hours days. Too exhausted to feel the pain of an empty house. 

6 months ago I thought it was possible to have someone in my life for 18 years and then just move on like it was part of life. 

6 months ago I still struggled with irrational fears. That she'd be hurt, kidnapped, or worse. Then, just like that a voice said "you continue to cling on to your daughter to hide from yourself." I was afraid of losing her, but in truth what scared me more was that I was losing myself.  It wasn’t just my daughter departure I had to mourn, but the old me as well. I tried to reconnect to the woman I was before her. Before I became, mom. In truth, there was no use to. Giving birth at 19 meant I never was a use to. I just went from what felt like childhood to parenthood like a tilt of the head, from one perspective right to another. I never had the chance to lose me, because I never fully became who I was meant to be. 6 months ago I could have said I wanted to focus on my child at the time, truth is I clung to her then for the same reason, fear. She gave me strength when I felt I had none. She gave me purpose when I though the world forgot to assign me one. In truth I was stuck! I couldn’t go back and shit I had no idea how to move forward. 18 years trying to find me while raising her. Always feeling like I had to choose and many times feeling like I was choosing wrong. Regret would set in and I wondered if I did enough as a parent.  Having my daughter tell me that I shouldn't regret a thing because to go back and change anything would change who she is. And then she said something I'll never forget. "I like who I am!" I wanted to like me too. Now I had my chance and I was letting myself be paralyzed  by grief and fear. 

I once heard something has to die in order for something to live. What do you have to let die? What will you give birth to? As 2017 comes around before we plan for what's ahead my hope is you'll take time to reflect on what 2016 taught you.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Image result for yellow butterfly


The butterfly landed and cried. No longer able to ignore its reality, no longer able to ignore the graying of the sky and the rain starting to come down. So she wept at the reality she had to face. Today I take it for what it is, she thought. I take what I refuse to see and acknowledge. My outside seeming to match my insides, a world crashing down. Tomorrow when sun comes up and things start to dry off I will be more aware, but not any less hopeful, for vision and clarity can still live in the same place. So she wept, rested, and worked on her self love and compassion and the very next day...when the sun came up and her wings had dried off...She. Took. Flight!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

C is For Confidence...

This post is part of The Layers of Beauty Tour created by GG Renee of All the Many Layers.  Follow the tour through the blogs of 25 women exploring the complexities of womanhood and beauty from A to Z.  Click here to keep up with each post and enter to win a giveaway package of goodies for your mind, body and soul.   #LayersAtoZTour

C is for Confidence...

I’m in transition now, and I’m afraid. I’m afraid that the young woman I put on pause many years ago may not be ready for what’s next. I was 19 when I had my daughter and for all intents and purposes I put a pause button on my growth. My evolution into womanhood. I was a baby raising a baby...I knew it then and now in my late 30s I still feel like an insecure child sometimes.

I thought I was evolving and that my daughter and I could do it together. I got so dependent that the thought of being without her has me feeling overwhelmed with fear, sadness, and doubt all laced with excitement. I equate the feeling to a mother bird who’s  baby bird has fallen out of the nest. Only, my baby is ready to fly. In all honesty, she’s already taken many test flights even before her time.

I fear for her, but in reality I fear for myself. I fear I won’t make it. I fear who I may discover. I fear what no longer having the single mother label will mean to me.


You see I’ve worn the single mom title as a badge of honor. Yeah, I got this, I’m a mom and a warrior, but in truth the badge was my armor, with men, with life. The reason why I couldn't take risks.  Oh no you see, ‘I have a child to look after...’ was my motto. ‘When she’s gone it will be my time’, I told myself. Now the wheels of freedom have taken motion and that play button is being pressed not by me but my daughter. In less than a month and a half my baby heads off to college.

You see in reality I’m getting what I’ve always thought I wanted, freedom. The freedom that all mothers lack. The freedom to come and go without thought or consideration. To only think of themselves, before the kids came. To be a little selfish and for that to be ok. I got back my “freedom” and although that 19 year old kid longed for those days, my wishful perspective has changed.

I now fantasize of my daughter being only 14 and having a few more years with her. I wish for her to be 10 or 5 years old, but more so I wish for her to be a few months, so I can hold her one last time in the safety of my chest. It’s funny how you’re longing for something changes and in that moment while you wish for other things, the very thing right in front of you is what you’ll long for and pain you later.


Now, all the things I wished for are knocking at my door, they’ve taken a long journey to get here and they are ready to start living! Am I? No longer a child to hold me back and still young enough to do it all. Yet, it’s my child that’s put everything in motion. She’s the real warrior, she’s heading to college in another city 6 hours away from me. She’s going to ‘figure it out mom’ she tells me. She says ‘we’re too close mom’ and in her words ‘in order for us to grow, we need to be apart.’ Her wisdom and bravery inspire me. At 19, all I could think was I can’t wait for her to go to college, and now she’s the one letting go.

In a few months, I’ll be moving closer to the beach. No longer looking for a 2 bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood, or even a single thought about the schools district. Now only an apartment that is suited for one. A few months ago, I left a corporate job I hated to work for Uber/Lyft full time until I figured out what’s next for me. My way of putting things in motion until my daughter takes flight. It’s time for just me. The real me, that 19 year old that I left in that cocoon many years ago me. Uber/Lyft taught me patience, self-discipline, and the real art of listening. Funny the lessons you’ll learn in L.A. traffic. One of those rides led to a sales job at a startup offered by the President himself. Then came an offer to work as a sales rep for women’s organization. All the steps to my self-discovery seem to appear at just the right time when I’m filled with self-doubt, insecurity, and fear.


Am I a saleswoman, am I a driver, am I a writer, am I really more than a single mom? Back when I hit pause on my dreams and vision for the future the biggest thing I wanted is to grow into a real woman, a self-assured woman, walk with grace woman, that my strut alone would someday fill the air with self-confidence. Instead I was the insecure girl, full of doubt in herself and the future. I use to admire women who seemed to have it all figured out. Never really knowing that confidence begins in insecurity, is fueled by faith and then cemented in self-assurance. That the shame, awkwardness and even the fear of not being all you want to be right now is part of the journey. Now, I’m not here to sell you on the journey bit, because when you're in it, building blocks and journeys bits feel like b.s. Even faith loses the fight sometimes. I’m here in the hopes that my story sells you on yourself and your choice to start something new even when you have doubt what will come of it, do it anyway. I’m unsure what the future holds for me, I’m scared, I feel alone, yes it’s painful, and yet looking back on my life I don’t regret taking the leap on the things that matter. I see my daughter now and sense of pride and happiness for her overwhelms me. Its time I get that same feeling for myself. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Motherhood & Forgiveness

This post is in connection to GG Renee’s #30Layers30Days series of self discovery. If you like to follow along for some serious soul reconnecting and self realization make sure and head to her site at AllTheManyLayers.com for more info. In the meantime I'll be sharing me journey here.

Day 5...

I’m looking at this child and my biggest responsibility is not to  kill her, starve her, or hurt her feelings. Her face is full of these little red bumps  and although I have like 50 little brothers and sisters (ok only 6 at the time) I can't for the life of me figure out what the fuck caused it.

She doesn't seem to be bothered, she’s happy/ content, but all I can think is...I’m the worst mother ever. I’ve failed.

I manage to get a doctor’s appointment and on our way we go. Outside of the doctors I take a moment and begin to cry. There I sit sobbing, 19 and with a 3 month old,  I feel hopeless as a mom. I should know what’s  wrong with her I tell myself. I mean what kind of mom doesn't have instincts? For some reason when she was born that bond, that connection, that “instinct” people talked about skipped me. I manage to pull myself together and take my baby girl in for her appointment. As it turns out its only a little rash all babies get and with a light prescription the doctor tells me “she’s going to be fine” and sends me on my way.

Even the doctor seems to think I have this under control. I managed to fool everyone except myself. I’m not equipped to be a mother.

Cut to a week later and the little red bumps are gone, but my instincts as a mother still have yet to make an appearance. I find myself at a mall restroom with a  friend she needs to change her baby and there's no changing table. She simply leans her back against the wall and positions herself like she’s sitting on a chair and proceeds to change her baby on her lap. How clever is that I think. I ask her where she got that idea from and she looks at me like I’m sort freak and says “my mom."

Then it hits me...oh that’s what a mom is for.

Since being kicked out of my mother's home at 13 along with my sister I refused to think of her. My mother's excuse for kicking us out was that her boyfriend no longer wanted us there. All my anger and resent helped me blocked her out and for years I only thought of the woman twice. That, I realize was a defense mechanism but now at 19 it was evident, even if not right away, that I needed a mother’s guidance. I had question with no words. I had doubts with no reference. I had fears with no solace. I felt motherless without knowing it. With no real guidance about motherhood I let what I thought I was missing guide me, my instinct. I allowed the connection to form any way I could. What I found was that when I replaced my anger and resentment with the love I had for my daughter that became my biggest motivation on becoming a better mother.

My mother was never taught compassion or forgiveness.

So I never had any for myself while trying to tackle motherhood. All I knew is that I wanted to be a better mom than my own. Although I felt I lacked several things I was able  find forgiveness for my mother even if she never asked for it. Letting go of the resentment allowed me to break the chain of my past. My mother’s mother wasn't very compassionate. She was old school and very very religious whatever happens death/abandonment is God’s will. No need to suffer. “It is God’s way.”  So when my grandfather abandoned my mother and my aunt there was no room for emotions or communication. I thought I lacked connection but I had compassion. I understood that without examples, with out teachers, its hard to learn the lessons sometimes. Much less teach others.

I had two great teachers, my mother and my daughter.

 My mother taught me that when you're lost and feel broken you may be blinded by what you think love is. That when you don't look at your past you may be forced to repeat it. She also taught me to find answer without a need for questions. Even if those answer must first come from yourself. Why do I do the things I do and how can I change it for the better? My daughter taught me to forgive, to forgive my mother, to forgive myself. To have empathy and realize we are all shaped by our past. And that choice is our greatest ally. A choice to forgive, so that one day we will be forgiven. To understand others so that we may some day be understood. Yes, both of my greatest teachers have been my mother and my daughter because they taught me love in two totally different ways. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Strut of Success

This post is in connection to GG Renee’s #30Layers30Days series of self discovery. If you like to follow along for some serious soul reconnecting and self realization make sure and head to her site at AllTheManyLayers.com for more info. In the meantime I'll be sharing me journey here.

Day 4...

She had long blond hair up in a polished ponytail. Not a hair out of place. I saw her glide out of her shiny black Mercedes with white leather interior. She was fit and had curves in all the right places. Worked the hell out of a pencil skirt suit too. As she strutted into the building with her black leather briefcase she looked like the perfect picture of wealth, confidence, and style. Something that, as a 22 year old at the time, seemed so unattainable to someone like me. I took that mental Polaroid of success and for the next several years I chased that image.
I tried to look as fit and beautiful and put together as she did. Minus the Mercedes with white leather interior. I figured since I couldn't own that life I could at least look the part. Pretty the outside to mask the sad inside. I tried chasing money but the more I made the more I spent. I always had a number and it was always too far from where I was. I thought maybe it was in school. I figured getting an education is what I lacked. Not understanding that I lacked self love. So I pursued education believing that was where success WAS. Until I worked with lawyers that also had degrees in science and realized no matter how smart or rich you can still be real fucked up.
The image of success  in money or a degree soon began to fade away. It left and empty feeling inside as I  wondered what real success even looked like.

That was until I reminded myself of people I admired growing up. When I was a mess and felt lost, they, seemed happy and found. I knew couples who’d been happily married 10, 20, 40 years. Ah I thought its in finding the right guy. Getting into all the wrong relationships axed that notion. Not realizing that these amazing women just happen to attract amazing men. Women that put in work to realize their own success and IT had nothing to do with money, looks, education or status. They all came from different upbringing and backgrounds.
They, however, did have something in common. They knew who the were, what they stood for, and best of all where they were going. They valued their great relationships, with their partners, with their children, and with their friends. Most of all they valued the relationship they developed through the years with themselves. Their self-love and self acceptance was derived from their own existence and not the external. They were their own well for success. It was through observing them and a lot of self reflection I realized that success means different thing to different people. At any given time really. Success can be as big as reaching your personal and professional goals. It can mean getting to spend some quality time with loved ones or even as small as sharing a soulful conversation with a stranger. Moments that nourishes the soul. Success is not a thing, its a feeling. And you can succeed today as quickly as you’ll feel like you've failed.

My success began the split second I decided to think different. When I realized I was less of a victim to the circumstance in my life and more of a creator. The moment I took steps to start loving and caring for myself from the inside out. You’ll be amazed at the ripple effect it creates.

Monday, March 2, 2015

When We Fear Our Greatness

This post is in connection to GG Renee’s #30Layers30Days series of self discovery. If you like to follow along for some serious soul reconnecting and self realization make sure and head to her site at AllTheManyLayers.com for more info. In the meantime I'll be sharing me journey here.

Day 2...

When I launched my first site, Amigapreneur, a site dedicated to women of color who are entrepreneurs. I remember I went hard and fast. I attended so many networks it seemed as though it was a my full-time job. In a sense it was. I don’t remember a weekend or even a week without attending several events. I interviewed people for my podcast and so if I didn't have an interview(s) during the week, along with heavy editing, then I was at a network. Having been laid off with decent severance package allowed me the time and flexibility to attend both paid and free events. I met so many people and made great connections. All the work I was doing started to pay off in the form of creating a great network of women that supported and inspired me. I not only had the support of great women but I was even writing and guest posting for a few sites.
Everything seemed attainable yet when great opportunities presented themselves...
Opportunities that were out of my comfort zone I shied away from them. I remember one particular time being asked to be a panelist for a major event in L.A. and although I had envisioned doing events like these I found myself hesitating. Public speaking terrified me. Even when I had envisioned what it would be like down to what I’d be wearing, how I would have my hair and makeup done, and who I'd be sitting along with. When the opportunities came I froze. The woman that offered it believed I’d be perfect for the panel. What’s more she knew I’d never been on a panel before and she was willing to have me on. I stuttered when she asked and reminded her I’d never done public speaking let alone an event that size. Hundreds of people would be attending the event. Instead of looking at it as an opportunity to get the word out about all the great work I’d been doing I let fear and doubt consume me.

What’s worse the women that I believed in, women of color, who should be highlighted would be put on a back burner because I couldn't grow a backbone.
I needed to be better prepared I thought. I mean I didn't want the woman that suggested me to be humiliated if I failed. I didn't want to let her down. In reality, I dint want to do all those things to myself. So I coward out and being inexperienced seemed like a reasonable way out. She tried to convince me even went as far as saying we could prep before. I simply responded…well if you think I can do it? Sounding more like a question than a statement.

“If you don't believe in yourself I can't do it for you.”
I remember her saying.
She seemed disappointed and ended up suggested someone else. At that time I just remember being relieved. Wew I thought I didn't have to do that and after all I was just thinking of her. Now, I realize I was being selfish. Someone believed in me and what I was doing even when I doubted myself. That should have been enough. Inexperience didn't matter my passion for my work should have been more important.

At the end of the day I think that my inability to make money from my site wasn't my lack of a set business plan or that I should of worked harder.  But that it was my fear of soaring into my greatness that held me back.

I had so many supporters see it for me but I lacked the confidence to see it for myself.

I believe Marianne Williamson quote holds true. We are more afraid of our greatness than we are of failing. We say we want it but when its presented sometimes we coward out. Never thinking anyone would call us on it. Me? Me, we think, not going to happen. I know next time when something is offered that scares the fuck out of me its a sign I should take it.

Picture Source: sabuqube.blog.ryerson.ca

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What Struggle Can Teach Us

This post is in connection to GG Renee’s #30Layers30Days series of self discovery. If you like to follow along for some serious soul reconnecting and self realization make sure and head to her site at AllTheManyLayers.com for more info. In the meantime I'll be sharing me journey here.

Below is Day 1 - Here And Now

Q. Are you where you always thought you'd be at this point in your life?  

No, I was more a live day to day kind of girl. My upbringing taught me to take every day one single moment at a time. There were times, rare, that things were quiet and mundane. On most days though my childhood was full of violence or emotional chaos. Although our childhoods don't last that long, for some of us, the scars are carried for a long time. Even when we find peace some of us tend to create our own chaos and drama because its what we’re use to.  It become a habit and we make it a way of life.

Silence, peace, and calmness is so foreign we fear it.

We spend the next several years recreating it whether in real life or in our minds. If you’re like me though you may choose to start healing. In the process you work hard and  make a lot of mistakes along the way.

Life now may not be perfect. Who’s is really. In my home there is more love, peace, and joy than I've ever had. I may not be exactly where I want to be in my career, but my home life is the total opposite of what I ever allowed myself to envision or thought was possible.

Q. How do you feel about the distance between where you are and where you want to be? How do you find peace in the moment, right where you are, at any given time?

I read a while ago “we want what we want when we want it” Many of us don't realize we just haven't received it because we may not be prepared or better yet the circumstances may not be perfect. For me the distance looks promising. I know the more I work the closer I get. The more self love, the more patients, and even the more struggle I get I know that it only means its around the corner.

“Anything that pains me is here to help me not hurt me.” 
-Christine Gutierrez

In the meantime I try and learn from the struggle.

Believe me, there are days where I ask myself why me?! That question always makes it hard to hold on to faith. It leads to a lot of self doubt and judgement. Instead I put down the Why and pick up the What. As in what can I learn from this? What can come from this struggle? While I wait for the answer I write. I meditate. I learn more self love and patients. When I focus on the What the answer almost always appears. In either the form of an answer or a lesson. I may not be where I want be career wise or even financially but being able to switch from Why to What lets me know I'm well on my way.