Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Life... Memories... Life's Memories....

Life... Memories... Life’s memories. 
A series of moments we build. Moments that come floating back when we need them, when we least expect them and when reminiscing about our life’s journey needs help...
"No matter how long we exist, we have our memories. Points in time which time itself cannot erase. Suffering may distort my backward glances, but even to suffering, some memories will yield nothing of their beauty or their splendor. Rather they remain as hard as gems.” 
~Anne Rice
Life... Memories... Life’s memories...
If only
I should have
And maybe I could have
Love harder, try harder, be more present...
Maybe I should’ve breathed deeper, slowed it all the way down and live this borrowed life, knowing it is borrowed, so I’d have lived it... Creating more meaningful memories... Life’s memories...
Life... Memories... Life’s memories...
So many more could’ve been made
Some many fleeting moments through my finger tips...
These thoughts, only because the breath of life is fainting... and life is ready to cash in on what was lended... 
unconditionally lended but not given
I stand here cognizant and grateful of the time given. 
I stand here with guilt of the possibilities not reached 
Memories are canvas of our life, stitched together moments that made who we are and who we will be... 
The past creates our future. 
Today’s moments are spent looking behind, looking at crossroads of what could’ve been. 
Today is no longer about creating memories, today is about letting your memory remind you of the days past 
when we were strong, 
when we showed how determined we were, 
how loving we were, 
how brave we were, 
how joyous we could be...
Memories are meant to be celebrated, talked about, laugh about and cry about.
Today is about storytelling.... 
Today is about asking “do you remember that time...”
Today is about acknowledging and celebrating. 
Today is about looking at the patchwork of memories, our life’s moments, so we can have a preview of what our tomorrow will be... 
Be at peace with the knowledge that on either side we will be okay....

Saturday, May 12, 2018

“Even a broken clock is correct, twice a day... Recognizing the constant check points in my life...”

To my children as without the miracle of you there wouldn’t be me to celebrate!

“Babies are bits of star-dust blown from the hand of God. Lucky the woman who knows the pangs of birth for she has held a star.” 
~ Larry Barretto

You have challenged me and changed me.
You have shaped and molded the “me” that exists today.
You have taught me and continue to teach me.
You continuously guide my every thought.
You love me in such a way, my bones couldn’t sustain without your fuel.

Everyday for the past 18 years, you have made me a Super Woman. There’s NOTHING in this universe that could stand in my way of me protecting, raising, caring and loving the both of you.

I expended my being to birth you
and expended my convictions to raise you.
Everyday as you grow, I relinquish my hold on you and watch your wings spread.
I live with the knowledge that I would kill for you.
I live with the fear that I would die without you.
I live to watch you guys become the best YOU the world has seen.

With the passing days, months and years the constant is that.
As I wake up, I seek the confirmation of you and thank God for you.
As I lay to sleep, I thank God for the protection he gives you.
Even a broken clock is correct twice a day... and everything in between are the actions of the connecting dots of our bonds, our love.

God, Thank you for gifting me motherhood.
Jayson and Jazzmine, THANK YOU for being the best interpretation of my gift!

To the moon and back, beyond all the stars…

Sunday, December 31, 2017

We Don’t Remember Days… We Remember Moments…

“I realized that the power of the moment is not in the moment itself. The power, actually, is in us. Every single one of us has the power to make and shape our own moments. It is us who by feeling joyful, celebrate for a moment of success; and it is also us who by feeling saddened, cry and mourn over our losses. I, with all my heart and mind, now embrace this power which lies within us. I wish life offers you more time to make use of this power. Remember, we are our own grieves, my dear, we are our own happiness and we are our own remedies."
― Huseyn Raza 

Every day in our lives is irreplaceable. They are important because of the opportunities they give us
to open our eyes to a new day
to make mistakes that will shape, or make decisions that will change us
to love, be loved or sentinel our hearts and emotions
to give and receive or selfishly be content with self
to be thankful and grateful or to be entitled…

Every day in our lives is irreplaceable. They are inimitable because you can’t ever hit the rewind button.
You learn to live with the unfolding of your days without really thinking of the steps, and the decisions you make. We create automated habits based on what usually works and feels good, and that, until the effect responding to the cause does generate a result, a feeling that differs from the expected…

Even though our days are irreplaceable, important and inimitable, we don’t remember them. Can you imagine remembering each day of your years on this earth??? My head is spinning at just the thought of having to remember the 365 days of 2017, let alone 365x46!

But what we remember are moments…

You don’t remember every day that built the 21, 30 or 40 years old you are today but you remember that moment, that feeling of turning and realizing you were 21, 30 or 40 years old..
You don’t remember every day you dated but you remember that moment, that feeling when you realized he/she was the one.
You don’t remember every day of your relationship but you remember the moment when you all of a sudden couldn’t deal and hit rock bottom.
You don’t remember what you did on 11/4/2008 but you remember the moment you heard that Barack Obama was now POTUS.

What you remember are the strings of moments that brought you joy, tears. Moments that made weak and strong. Moments that made YOU.

As I turn the last page of my 2017 book, I reflect on all of the moments that this year has brought, the good, the bad, and the heartfelt ones. And while a few are still challenging to accept, I am positioning myself taller, wiser and receptive to 2018's moments of growth (along with its shenanigans) to come.

Cheers to All –

Saturday, December 23, 2017

How My Life is Continuously Teaching Me About Life....

I was aware that I didn’t know it all. In owning up to my 46 years on this earth, I was convinced that some life lessons weren’t mine to learn anymorehad faced them, I accepted them, I lived them, and I mastered and conquered them … So I thought… I guess, you'll never be able to view something as a learning experience if you're convinced you have absolutely nothing to learn right?
And here I sit, lost in my feelings, back on the drawing board…

Less than a week ago, a very dear friend of mine called me as she was struggling with a situation at work and wanted my perspective. I listened to her explain how she had spent the past few days rounding up the year’s accomplishments of her team. She was deciphering everyone’s strengths and contributions to the team’s success and how to reward each one of them. The struggle arose when she realized that no one (in turn) was acknowledging her for her impact and role in what had become a very well-oiled machine (in the work environment). As she was still explaining her conflicted feelings, I stopped her mid-sentence and said, “You and I will never be able to work together!” This was followed by a small pause that meant, “Get it together girl! I continued with, “You are a leader and as such, you should know your worth and not need a pat on the back to validate the work you do. It is not about you anymore. Every day you are in the position that you’re in, is the validation that your boss trusts, appreciates and values you. The success of your team is your success. Not everything needs to be said and acknowledged at all times. Trust in yourself, trust in the fact that without you, your team and your boss would be lost. Today is about them and recognizing them… Let it go.
She thanked me for showing her the other perspective she was missing. I gracefully and proudly accepted, as I felt I cleared her temporary doubt by obligating her to self-evaluate (and appreciate) who she is and what she brings to the table. And most importantly, note the fact she is continuously expected at the table, which speaks more volume than any nod given.

Fast forward to today…

We entrust our time and lives to situations(personal or working) relationships as we feel so in control of our emotions;in control of who we are. With experience and age, we grow more and more confident of our ability and awareness of our self-worth and this is until that moment when you come face to face with doubt… Self-doubt… Until that moment when the simple things are no longer simple… Until that moment that makes you take a hard look at yourself…
Most of the time you recover quickly, shake off the doubts, and get back on the saddle confidently. And sometimes you can’t. All you can see is uncertainty and you need that reassurance…

Today I was faced with the reality of facing a goodbye I wasn’t ready to accept. I heard myself say, “IF only the insecurities we feel, the unsettling atmosphere we have to function within, were acknowledged along with a reassuring pat in the back, a heartening smile or just a few words put together that would resonate like, YOU ARE NEEDED AND APPRECIATED, we would never be in this position… The thoughts of having to make hard decisions and say goodbye would’ve never come into play.
Yes that came out of my mouth… And as I stare at my screenremembering last week’s conversation, I can’t help to think how wrong I was.

The base of all healthy relationships is the environment in which they grow. I will push further here by generalizing and saying, without a positive – positive energy, and fulfilling – environment, no relationship will flourish to the potential it was meant to. 
The question becomes HOW

How do I create that healthy environment IF the relationship is one I’ve determined the potential is worth working towards? If it’s one I want to invest in and see grow, if the relationship is one I want to keep?
Appreciation is key to all relationships. Appreciation is contagious, and creates positive energy that stays within us and our surroundingsNOTHING is more motivating than to know someone recognizes you, your efforts and appreciates all you bring to the table. Showing appreciation is showing someone you noticed their efforts for you, that it means something to you, and that you are appreciative and thankful
Showing appreciation is as simple as giving a reassuring smile and that gaze that screams, “Thank you so much for this.Showing appreciation is as simple as being able to share what you’ve recognized by verbalizing it
Verbalizing your acknowledgement by saying “THANK YOU”.Thank you validates people. It makes them know they matter, it makes them feel better about themselves, it motivates them to keep pushing through, it lets them know that they bring value tothe relationship, and more importantly… it keeps them where they are!
It’s as simple as RECOGNITION
When a person receives your acknowledgement and is being recognized for what they’ve done, it really motivates them to keep doing it, and nothing provides consistency like recognition. 

So as I finish sharing this, I feel less unforgiving of myself for my previous response to my friend :). How I would change it is by adding, “Confidence and knowledge of your worth is necessary, nothing can replace that. However, if doubts and questions about the value you bring insert themselves in your positive space, then they need to be addressed right away.” 

If a relationship has to end, no excuses, no regrets you never want it to be because things were lost in translation or left unsaid…

"For example, saying thank you, or offering other words of appreciation, along with sincere compliments and other grateful or kind words are the best way to fortify relationships" ~ Chris Johnston


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Gracefully Growing… 15 Years in the Making.

“Her Smile makes me smile. Her laugh is infectious. Her heart is pure and true.
Above all I love that she is my daughter”

As you may know by now, it has become tradition for me to write (and post) something about your brother (and you), on each of your birthdays. Although I haven’t sat and typed for my blog in about 7 months, I couldn’t sit back and not celebrate you through the words swirling in my mind while I think of you. However, while writing my emotions about you guys has always been an easy task, this time I have tried and failed, numerous times, to write down how I feel about you; my Jazzmenina. 

I can’t help to think that, in my prior life, I must have been so good to the world, to now be blessed with the two of you…
But you Jazzy, I credit you for teaching me how expandable and limitless love can be... When I was only your brother’s mom, I didn’t think it was possible to love any other child with the passion and fierceness that I had for him.  Throughout my pregnancy, I worried and prayed God would not let me fail you. When you finally – so quietly – joined us, my life got fuller, my heart stretched out and made room where I thought there wasn’t any, and my world dramatically got brighter.

You two have created an endless love inside of me, so unbreakable, so unending, which brings me purpose and joy, every day of my life.

During this last year, I have seen the most significant changes in you. Physical changes of course, I see myself staring at you when you are looking and when you are not looking and I can’t help to be marveled at your beautiful face. But what makes me the most proud is me witnessing how your inner beauty shines through. I am witnessing the growth of your mind, and of your heart. Since a young age you have always been confident and comfortable being you but not always willing to understand others. With the years you have learned to share yourself and show compassion and empathy. You have grown into an amazing young woman, you are that girl that I always wished I could be; beautiful (inside and out), confident, AND smart…

I am so incredibly proud of you because every expectation I set for you (and I know at times they are set very high), you have never folded and have always worked to achieve them. Know that I am your biggest cheerleader and I want all your dreams to come true. I never want you to feel undeserving of anything, because you deserve the absolute best that life has to offer and more…
I am so incredibly proud of who you are Jazzy. Dad and I have been pressuring you to let us know what present you would like for your birthday (or what you would like to do) and tonight on the eve of your big 15th birthday you couldn’t come up with an answer. Not because you couldn’t narrow down your options, but because you truly feel like you don’t need anything. THAT makes me want to give you the world…

As age is creeping up on me I can’t help but wonder what the years ahead of me will look like… How, and with what will they be filled with…? I can’t help but wonder who will be holding my hands when my steps become uncertain and less reliable…
Unbeknownst to you, my sweetheart, in your young age, you have managed to put my heart at ease and made those worries just passing thoughts…

The millions of fleeting hugs, kisses and “I love you mommy” you generously shower me EVERY DAY with, are engraved in my heart and soul. How you so freely express your love shows me that you know love because you have experienced love. That is the best gift from me to you and from you to me.

You are gracefully growing so…
Remember always how loved you are
Remember you will always be my sweet baby
Remember you will always be daddy’s little girl
Remember you will always be your brother’s heart
Remember how much you are important to our family

Happy, Happy Happiest birthday my princess Jazzmine….. Wishing you a million days that reflect the possibilities you know you are and that I see in you.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Forward to The Blank Canvas...

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, 
Whispering 'it will be happier'...” 
― Alfred Tennyson

Navigating through my experiences and along the way writing my story one book at a time.
Page 366...

I hold the pen, ready to complete the ending of 2016; the 45th book of my life’s journey...
While the thought is ironic (as I couldn't predict today or it's ending), relaying this feeling I have of needing to “Turn the Page,” or write "The End" and start my new book is just as real as today being 2016’s last day!

As I look back, mentally going through highlights of the past 365 days, I am pulled forward. Running away from the trials 2016 have put me through as if my life depended on the distance I covered before the ball drops…

However, I have grown tremendously over this year long marathon. 
Life challenged my health, both mentally and physically.
Life challenged many relationships. Some I had to let go of, some were organically preserved, and some I'm still fighting to maintain.
Life challenged my values, and what I know to be black or white.
Life challenged my beliefs, as if they were sand castles, bound to crumble.

I am going to sit this one out. I don't think I am able to celebrate the turning of this page. I’m not quite ready to celebrate the ending with a new dawn, as pain lingers from a past sunset. And although very wishful, 2017 is a ball of uncertainties...

Therefore, I'm going to sit this celebration out, let it end gracefully. However the chips fall, I have accepted, wrote, and directed all the actions up to this point in my life. And while I am happy to see it end, stepping into the first page 2017, I know I'll be bringing the usual. I'll be bringing perspective, experience, and the wisdom that have been recorded in this series called my life.

Josh Jameson once said, "There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book." Well this time, I'm glad the choice has already been made for me. 2016 is coming to an end, with or without my consent. I will stand still, feel and listen to the ending. The countdown has started, and while this last page will write itself, my happy ending will be my trust in new beginnings.

To the potential of tomorrow...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Presumption, Assumption and Judgment, the Relationship Killers...

Louis C. K. once said, "Nobody leaves a good marriage."
This is certainly something I believed; until tonight...

Here I am in Las Vegas, proudly proclaimed "The City of Sin," during my second stop on my West Coast store visit trip, and as usual, I am hit with this overwhelming feeling of everything being too fast, too grand, too much and yes... Very sinful. 
I'm far from being a purist but it is clear (as I look around me) why and how the say, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." I also believe that statement to be partially true. Many people bring back lots of addictions, and may require penicillin shots to help deal with what happened! 

So after a long day of training and catching up with the stores, I finally sat down for dinner - alone as usual - in one of my favorite restaurants in Vegas. I ordered my drink, pulled my personal phone out and started to catch up on life, while waiting for my meal. 

A few minutes later, a gentleman was seated at the table next to me. He sat and shortly, two menus were put on the table, leading me to believe he was not like me... he wasn't going to dine alone. 

I tried placing the focus back on myself, but as he was seated directly next to me (and right opposite from me), my eyes couldn't help to be drawn to him and his nervous behavior. 

He was older, late fifties to early sixties. Balding, could afford to lose some weight and he was dressed not to impress... He got up a few times, looking left and right, as if he were waiting for the hitman to mark him as a target. My best guess was that he wanted to make sure his guest would see him. I looked down on my phone thinking, "How cute, he is probably waiting on his wife to come and join him!"
It's funny how your mind can so quickly (and effortlessly) conjure up someone's story, someone's life by just looking at them... 


Then I heard a voice. The "woman" I heard had a high pitched voice, nothing like what my mind had expected to hear, so I again took my eyes off my phone, looked at the person seated to my left and how wrong I was. 
She was young, very young. The makeup plastered on her face couldn't hide how young she was...
She started talking. They weren't related. Just barely knew each other. She just celebrated her 21st birthday.


I tried to keep to my "business", and enjoy my meal but the reveal of their relationship left this feeling of disappointment in me, as if I had any right to judge


She then asked the question: "So what's your wife like?"
The question stung as if... 

I was hoping he would at least set some boundaries. However, after a quick silence he said: "She has good days when she doesn't bitch at me and bad days when she always bitches!" 
That was the first thing he found to describe the woman who's shared his name for the past 28 years. "She use to be my best friend," was the last thing I heard. There was a hint of regret, pain and yearning in his voice... I settled my check and walked out. 

As a married woman, I always wonder how so many couples get to that point. How do you get to the point where what you've taken years to build with love can be summed up so negatively; how it can become so insignificant to your partner and vice-versa?
Who is the true victim in that situation? Is there anyone who is blameless?

The fact of the matter is, we are all responsible for the state of our relationships. The statement holds true that "For every action, there is a reaction”. But while we can summarize it at such, we need to remember that a reaction has to be thought of, weighed and communication needs to happen before any reaction. 

The truth as I believe it is, it starts with us. We want to fix the other person because they are the ones to blame for presuming, assuming and passing judgment even though we don't take the time to share why we are becoming strangers (not only to them but most of the time, even to ourselves). We don’t take the time to share the growing paths we get on and instead choose to stand by, all the while being offended at our partners who don't understand or follow. 

With every step in a relationship, growth is expected. There's a little luck but a lot of hard work that needs to be put forth for any relationship to remain fruitful and flourish. There's a lot of compromises but nothing I'm learning is more important than communicating during this journey. Communicating, not because it will maintain your relationship, no... Simply communicating because "bitching" becomes "sharing", "nagging" becomes "requesting" and "questioning" becomes "caring". At times you might be the one that loves more. The one who gives everything you can to your partner and your relationship. But don't see it as being done in vain, don't see yourself as being in a competition with your partner. Communication will establish respect, even in a failing relationship, and that respect will yield a different answer than the gentleman in the restaurant gave the young lady. It will create boundaries that no one outside your relationship could touch. It will create that invisible line in the sand. 
If you don’t feel like you can be the one that loves more, you may not be with the right person for you. Don’t be with someone that you can’t be your best self with and appreciate. 

So today I do believe that yes, many leave good marriages because somewhere along the way it has become harder to share and understand, thus letting go takes place... It has become easier to fake it and say its okay when you really mean, "It's not okay."

Imagine yourself seated across from "temptation", at that table and being asked, "So what's your partner like?"  

What will your answer be?

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