March 26, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Growth is one of those funny things that you don’t really notice until **BAM!** it happens and you’re there. You don’t necessarily feel more mature. Or further ahead. Or like you know more than you used to. If you’re like me, you just feel like you’ve encountered a shift in your perspective.
I happen to be madly in love with growth, always have been. It’s only deepened since I became a mother. You see, as a mother, I’ve noticed that I “monitor” my personal growth even less. Not that that’s a good thing. Yet it’s true.
The last big hurrah before baby number two was born was when I had Audrey. I remember thinking that I could die during this experience (child labor), but that it was okay. My new bundle of sunshine was worth it.
The second with Edric was no different. I so strongly desired their life to flourish that my own needs–to be comfortable, to be sleeping, to not be in pain–were far from my mind. And in both instances after the labor, I looked into my own eyes in the mirror and said,
“Yep, I don’t know how, but you’ve grown.”
It’s one of those growth things that you just can’t pin-point really. It just is. You just did. You simply are. And it feels right. Magical personal growth that can’t be taught, explained, or even really grasped by the one experiencing it.
And so as motherhood goes, I continue to embrace whatever my soul and spirit leads me too. More growth in this way or that. More revelation. More truth that jives with who I am. I try to relax into it like a yoga pose, inhaling and exhaling slowly. Focusing on nothing else but the sheer fact that it’s growth.
Photo: Audrey in a dress that has a bit of room for growth.
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February 22, 2012 § 1 Comment
My little sister just turned the Big 18. Now she can legally vote and buy cigs. And it got me a thinking–we’re never really ready for the next year. What’s weird is we have no idea what it will feel like. We make assumptions about growing up and getting older, yet we have no idea what the truth is until we get there:
We feel the same.
When you’re younger you think that when you get to a certain age, say 30 or 40, that it’ll feel this way or that. That somehow life will feel different. That you’ll know more than you did on your 28th birthday than you did the day before. But it’s not so.
When a 55-year-old tells me they don’t feel any different, I’m finally starting to believe them. Because it really doesn’t feel any different. Change and growth are such subtle progressions, that you can’t measure them by any means. And age is certainly no indicator of such change and growth.
So you just roll with it. It’s a number. It’s a bodily state that effects your physicality more so than anything else. Yet in our society, there are tons of pressures, spoken and not, to be at certain life stages when you hit a date on the calendar.
When you reach 18, it feels as if the world is telling you to be graduated from high school, to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, and to have a plan.
At 30, it’s like they expect you to have it all together. The job, the car, the significant other, perhaps even the kids.
Once you get to 40 it’s like some unspoken expectation that you have to feel old. That half your life is over, so you’d better be acting like it.
But can I just say, let’s throw these cockamamie ideas straight out the window? They’re ridiculous. And untrue, to say the least. There’s nothing that says you have to be at this place or that. It’s for you to decide. It’s for you to accept.
I know getting older isn’t the funnest thing in the whole world. At least it’s not the same as when you were seven going on eight and couldn’t wait for the “big bike” on your birthday. However, if you look at it as simply time passing–because that’s what it is–and not a way to measure your achievements, success, or lack there of, perhaps you’ll be able to embrace the joy of your birth!
Happy Birthday, Itzel! I love you, lady. I hope you can embrace eighteen with the same passion, energy, and excitement that you’ve done with all the years before.
November 30, 2011 § 1 Comment
Idea Loss has been coming up over the past few days. I’ve been living in the reality of being a homemaker living in Glendale for the past fifteen months. At the beginning of November, Trever and I decided to move into a two-bedroom and make room for our growing family.
We gave our 30 days with our property manager and began our search. I was having a hard time getting from place to place to check out each unit with an active toddler sitting in the backseat. Yet I was managing.
At one point, mid-month, I said to Trever that I couldn’t decide where I wanted to live. He said he would gladly stay at our current spot for a little bit longer till we found what was best for us. And I agreed. So that same night, I emailed the property manager to see about the possibility of rescinding our notice.
It couldn’t be done.
The landlord supposedly wanted to remodel the never-before remodeled 1950′s unit and increase the rent. So we started searching even more vigorously and came up with a back-up plan: moving in with his parents.
As the impending moving day came closer and closer, I began a hormonal pregnant mama meltdown every other day. We didn’t find the perfect spot and here we are. Living with the in-laws.
I’ve been pretty depressed over the past couple days since we moved in. Audrey has said to me more than once, “You cry?” Yes, Mama cry. And it all comes back to the Idea Loss.
Idea Loss is having your perspective and/or reality change over night and feeling the mournfulness and sorrow over the death of the old point of view. Sometimes it’s a good thing, other times it’s such a great loss that it’s hard to deal with and process. I’m in a place where I’m not sure how to deal with it.
I went from being a wife and mom. Happily cooking, cleaning, laundering, etc. on a daily basis to feeling completely stuck. I had my daily activities planned, my mom friends, and my domestic and simple lifestyle that I enjoyed. Now I’m living in a house that lacks both freedom and safety. The two things that I prize above all else for my daughter.
I know it may seem like a more temporary situation than that; it is definitely hard to explain every side of the argument in one blog or open up completely. Yet I want you to know where I’m at. I’ve lost the little community that I built in my mom hood, so I’m feeling a bit shelter shocked.
I’ll figure it out. We’ll figure out. We always do. One idea at a time.
Photo: Driving away. They grow up too fast.
April 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
Only four days into 27 and I’m feeling pretty old. Not old in a bad way, just an understanding way. I’ve been seeing things differently lately. One of my favorite feelings. I love a change in perspective. It’s an older me, in a sense. A me that took a lot of thought rearranging to get into.
I remember how much work I had to do to process the fact that I had chosen someone to be with. As soon as Trever and I had this conversation on June 24, 2007, I chose to only be with him:
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
“Um? Singing? Playing music? Traveling? I don’t know. I want to be with someone for sure.”
“You want to be with me.”
“Yeah, I want to be with you.”
Even if in that moment I chose a life with him, it took months to get into the mindset and really grasp what it meant to “do life with someone,” as I like to call it. I kept telling my mom that I wanted to experience life with someone, but when I got there, I still had a lot of old stuff to sift through. Old perceptions. Gender schemas. Marital issues.
As many may know, I was and still am a fairly stubborn, independent, and domineering (among a host of pleasant assets, of course). Getting my brain to think of putting someone first. Following the path of another and not just my own. Having someone be a team with me. All new thoughts. Yet I knew I had to get into it. I knew I had to accept this new thought pattern. Or we’d be in trouble.
I remember the warm, sunny day on September when it happened. I ran out to the curb to greet Trever as he came home from work. I was his. And he was mine. I had put my mind through a sort of mental exercise little by little to build it up and get it in gear for the viewpoint I wanted it to have: Marriage. Monogamy.
Years past and I used my first formula to help me get through and cope with life’s changes. Moving in together. Postponing our wedding. Moving out of the same place. Eloping. Moving back in together. Learning to teach piano and voice lessons. Quitting. The disappointment of not being pregnant. The excitement of being pregnant. The sacrifices and revamping in my head that came along with being a mom.
Phew. That was the next tough one. I had to let go of doing the MBA program I had been accepted into that very same month. Forgo my veg diet, jeans, numerous tops, focus on myself. I had to let go of me in a lot of ways. I had to let go of my own desires to do what I wanted to do and put myself in the mindset of being called Mother. I took my new calling very seriously. I still do. And that revamping helped me tremendously (especially the thought-shift of getting to wear attractive looking bras).
And like becoming a mama, I’ve noticed over the past few months that my older self has noticed that there’s a lot I can’t do. A lot that was a just a pipe dream. I’ve discovered I can’t have my cake and eat it to. That life takes sacrifices in many forms, like that of marriage and parenthood. Most of the time those sacrifices are a good thing. However, they’re always hard. I know myself. And I know if I do the prep work for the sacrifice, it falls into place more easily. If I choose to see the good things along with the more difficult, I can make the change easier on myself. Day four and counting. 27 is going to be a good year.
February 2, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I know it’s simple. I’ve been saying it to myself for the past week or two. I posted it on my FB and Twitter on Monday. My new mantra:
This is life. I’m doing it.
I think often times we get stuck in a rut. We see the world around us. Our reality. From the same perspective over and over and over again. There are days when everything we do just feels like a dream. I know there are those days for me.
A lot of what we go through, the way we view the world and its monotony can be attributed to our lack of desire to grow or see a different perspective. We get comfortable in the way things are so much so that we can’t see that they’re detrimental (or at least not the awesomest) for us.
We’ve talked a lot about getting out of that mindset. Breaking free. And seeing things from a different point of view in the past. Yet here we are. What about when we think we should be growing? Doing this and that? And life, beautiful life is just starring us in the face?
I’ve been a culprit to this indeed. I love love love growth. Change. Goals. Hopes. Dreams. It really gets my motor going. (Wow. That was cheese ball if I ever heard it. It’s true!) I’ve been talking about, encouraging, giving motivational talks and speeches on the above for as long as I can remember. I’ve had a love affair with moving forward. Oh beautiful change. Embrace me one more time.
I could bask in change on a chaise lounge with my sun tan oil on. Sit in and soak in it like a nice bubble bath on a Sunday afternoon. Roll around and splash in it like a fresh puddle after a good rain. You point something out to me about myself? I’ll ponder it. Tinker it. Look at it this way and that. Hold on to it. Process it. Choose it. And/or throw it away. Why? Because I like change. I like the way it feels. The new synapses firing in my brain. The new neuro pathways created. The glory of the “aha!” moment achieved.
I get so caught up in the addiction to change that I can even forget where I’m at in the here and now. Not that I’m missing anything. No. No. No. But that I’m looking for the way to grow and I discount the fact that I’m exactly where I’m at. Period.
This is life. I’m doing it.
This is my new mantra. My new focus. Not to say that I don’t want to grow. Or I’m not open to it. Or blah blah blah. Yadda yadda yadda. However sometimes it’s good to remind yourself that you’re doing it. You can’t change what has happened in the past. You can’t control and manipulate the future. You can be you. You can embrace life where you are in this moment and take whatever it throws at you. Because you know what? You’re good at this. You’ve got this. You can do whatever may come your way. You can choose to grow. Change. Live.
I would love to hear your take on my new mantra. I would love to hear where you’re at in this very moment. I would love to pick a few of your stories and post them as a guest blog. Please email um to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
November 5, 2010 § Leave a Comment
I’m just sitting here. In my comfy orange armchair. Trying to get a good thing going in my mind. It’s hard sometimes to keep going. Isn’t it? Especially when what we thought we were doing doesn’t turn out the way we were hoping it would (in our minds).
My friend, Laura, previous owner of said chair texted me something profound that spurred on a thought that turned into this.
“Physical results are sometimes overrated. It’s the one’s we feel and what we do with those that manifest as dreams.”
I’m turning that over in my mind. Physical results are overrated often times, I’d say. One can achieve what they were hoping for (say the win of a game or the birth of a child), yet not be changed by it.
The physical result is achieved, and still the person remains. Perhaps an even greater result occurs in oneself when the physical result doesn’t happen the exact way it has played out time and time again in one’s mind.
It’s very true. That I felt the result of my recording this past weekend. Or the lack thereof, rather. I felt it deeply. It hit my core.
As a chord hits one’s heart. And out comes a song.
I was optimistic while attempting. Hoping for the best. But it wasn’t humming (in my mind). It felt right even though it was going “so wrong.” I wasn’t sure as to the why. Yet I kept enjoying myself. Kept allowing myself to feel.
I knew I would figure it out. I knew I would know what to do.
My sister. My big sister. Wrote a comment on the previous post. Sisters always have that sisterly wisdom. Even those that aren’t real sisters.
She said what I had been thinking though. Paraphrased: you should focus on the composition and lyrics. Yes. I think I shall. I’m good at that.
I realize now that I’d like to have my stuff together. The next time around. I’d like to have pieces. Actual pieces of music. With notes and lyrics. For piano, violin, cello, guitar, bass (stand up, of course), drums, trumpet…who knows what else!
I’d like to continue to write and improve. I hope you’re not disappointed. That was a lot of my disappointment the past few days. I didn’t want to disappoint you.
I’ll upload some oldies for you to giggle at. And perhaps even, enjoy.
Sigh. I love this orange armchair. My thinking chair.
November 2, 2010 § 2 Comments
It’s crazy how one weekend can change your perspective. Not a bad thing. In the least bit. But a change nonetheless.
I mean, I started my Friday driving down to Costa Mesa. Wondering if I was going to have a keyboard that worked. We picked up the keyboard at it’s place of storage. And headed to the recording studio.
Plugged it in. Nothing. Well, the weights on the keys had come unglued. Inhibiting the keyboard from working. Probably from being stored on it’s side for too many months.
C’est la vie. My worst fear was realized and I handled it. The sound engineer made the suggestion of heading to Guitar Center and picking up a new one. Deep breath. Okay. I can do this.
We got in the car (me, Audrey, Trever) and headed to GC. Found an amazing Yamaha that we couldn’t afford and drove back home.
The next day we started fresh. At two p.m. I arrived and set up shop. The sound engineer was having issues with something. The programs output would not work and kept booting us off every time we’d try to record.
By 5:30p.m. we still had nothing. I was trying to keep my hopes existent, if not high.
Around that time, he pulled out a simple eight track and we recorded one song (Piano only). I got it on the first take. And it only got better (more comfortable, expressive, dynamic) on the next two.
We moved on to the next song. And ran in to more difficulties. By around seven I had given up (in my mind). Not in a bad way. I was just thinking, “Hmmm. This isn’t working. I’m not sure why. But it’s not. I need to get over myself. And the idea of recording. …3, 2, 1…over it. Okay. Now what?”
I tried recording the next day when he said the issue was fixed. It wasn’t. So I left. But I feel like if Trever hadn’t been there, it would have been a difficult situation to leave. That “stuck” feeling was coming on when he told me to just “lay a track down and see if you can get into it.”
I’m not. Your equipment still isn’t working properly. And it just doesn’t feel “right.”
So here I am. Pondering the aftermath. Things that I’ve learned about myself etc. since Friday:
1. Things you think will happen, probably will. You can handle them though. You always do.
2. Just because something doesn’t happen right now, doesn’t mean it can only be looked at as a “bad thing.”
3. From here, there are many places to go. There’s no need to feel stuck.
4. There’s room for improvement. I can re-write some songs and work on my piano composition for sure.
It’s easy to feel like a recording jinx after that. I think it’s okay to feel that too. In a way, I am being blocked for whatever reason. Even if it’s myself. Even if it’s a coincidence.
I would have liked to have shared a victory with you. That victory in the form of recording. Yet this victory is different. I’ve come out the other side only slightly scathed and with a new perspective.
Here’s where you come in. Your input. I’d love to hear from you. Where should I go from here?
Should I try recording with the same engineer this weekend? Should I take this as a sign, in a sense, and work on some stuff? Should I go back to the drawing board and try to save up money to be recorded by a more “expensive” sound engineer?
Thoughts? Thoughts? I’d love your input.