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There is great power within you, you just need to know how to hone it, where to direct it and when to withdraw it. It is a delicately mastered art. 

Convey your feelings often, hold onto nothing. The good, the bad, the ugly. All have an appropriate outlet but the timing is just as important as the delivery.

Ask for help when you need it. It’s ok. Needing help is not weakness. 

Take your own advice. 

Don’t listen to them and trust your gut. You may be wrong but you may learn or gain something out of the process. It’s never a waste if the lesson was learned.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you how or who you should be, what you do with your time and who you give yourself to.

If a partner treats you like shit, you leave. Life is too short to spend it with people who don’t cherish you. Same goes for friends, family, jobs. Better is out there.

Speaking of friends, sometimes the best ones will be in the most unlikely of places. Always pay attention to the ones that listen and reciprocate. Get rid of the ones who don’t – not everything is meant to be forever.

It’s ok to be a little shameless. Revel in your guilty pleasures, hang onto the things that bring you joy – that’s where the magic is.

Don’t place value in how others perceive you. You will deny yourself so many wonderful life experiences because of it if you do. And honestly, there will always be someone who doesn’t care for your brand but on the other side there are others who will stock their pantry full of You.

Learn and master the art of humility, grace, gratitude, giving/accepting a compliment.

Having boundaries doesn’t make you a bitch, too much or picky. You need them in your life and if people want to push them, it’s because they benefit from your not having them.

Say “thank you” A LOT.

Spend more time with critters. They will teach you far more about love than some of the people you bring into your life.

Find intimacy in the mundane. Intimacy it not something that is reserved exclusively for romantic partners and means far more than sex and physical contact. You will learn to discern it and it is one of the most rewarding feelings ever. You will crave it.

Do lots of things for yourself, don’t wait for someone to do it for you. Make that bucket list and start checking it off.

Don’t let people harden you. Trust is a beautiful thing and one of the many ultimate acts of love.

Question everything but know when to surrender to uncertainty.

Learn the difference between loyalty and fidelity.

Get outdoors more. Some of the best places are outside and free. They will fulfill you more than clubs and bars ever will.

Be better with your finances. I know people say that it doesn’t matter. It does. It doesn’t buy happiness but it certainly helps keep you from being stressed out all the time. Taking care of what you have is > abundance.

Anger has its place but ask yourself why you’re angry instead of letting it poison you.

Don’t reward the bare minimum. A poorly made meal on your fine china is still a poorly served dish.

Travel. See new places, road trip, try new things. You will come back a changed person and will teach you more than a book ever will. Experiences > things. The comfort zone is where happiness goes to die.

Go to therapy. It will, quite literally, save your life.

Pay attention to who celebrates your wins with you and who stays silent. Not everyone around you wants to see you succeed or be happy. The miserable disguise themselves as snakes, and in some cases, flowers in your garden.

Student loans are a sham. Higher education is not a unit of measure for your value as a human being.

Romanticize the absolute poetic fuck out of your life.

Love your own company above all others. The company you do keep should match or elevate what you bring to the table.

One day you’re going to die and no one will give a fuck about your resume or what you had. But will they remember if you were a good person? Absolutely. Focus on that part because your accomplishments really mean nothing to anyone but you.

Be honest. Deceit is for the morally corrupt and you’re better than that.

No one likes a sourpuss. So if you’re going to be that person, work on finding the source and fixing what is making your puss sour.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

One day you’re going to bring a tiny person into the world. Their arrival will be transformational and the greatest and purest lesson of selfless love you will ever know. Relish in every second of it with Them.

Hold onto your integrity, it is the kind of thing that will let you sleep peacefully at night.

Save the softest parts of you for those who show you that you’re cherished to the bone and hold you with white gloved care.

 

After what seems like it was never going to happen, My Chemical Romance finally did. Reza and I had a pre-birthday trip to Las Vegas to go to the show and while it was a quick jaunt back and forth, we had a great time. There were a ton of tears, everywhere. It just makes all the difference when you go to a show and the love for the band is not only mutually shared, but it was like that with the whole building. It was super special and I am so glad I got to not only able to do that, finally, but share yet another of many firsts with Them. The show ending with crying and hugging to “cancer” is a core memory I soon won’t forget.

Reza turned 16. It has been an absolute blur of time and while it has gone by faster than expected, I am grateful that I have been able to stay a consistent fixture in all of these years for Them. It hasn’t been without its challenges and blows, but I know it will matter so much down the road. I just love this kid so fuckin’ much.

What do you like? Need? How? What unsettles you? How can I do/be/try? I am not used to being on the receiving end of thoughtful and selfless of that caliber. And being able to answer them without fear of judgement or repercussion? Fuck. And when these questions come from men? An entire mind fuck. Unpacking trust issues is a whole lot of something for me but slowly and surely I am allowing myself to lower that drawbridge. It is not easy but I sit with the discomfort and try. I just don’t do it so freely anymore. People have no idea how much power there can be in words when they’re fueled with sincerity and surrender. There is so much in the ask, just as much as the answer – if not more.

Halloween/Muertos came and went. R was Patrick Bateman and absolutely killed it. I on the other hand have been opting for full blown hermit mode. Odd for me, I know, considering this is my favorite holiday and season. I have some things in the works that are just so meaningful and big (for me) and this year, sitting out potential exposure risks outweighed festivities. Setting up the altar was an emotional one this time around – my gut tells me next year there will be an addition. It’s not morbid to accept reality… doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting. The sky being lit ablaze on Halloween night was not lost on me.

November has always been a reflective time of year for me. The end of yet another trip around the sun, weeks shy of turning 48. This one will come and go just as quickly, no doubt, but there’s a lot to think of, look forward to, do, and my god… I cannot wait for every transformative second of it. I have been a hell of a lot more private about so many things because I have come to discover time and time again that there will always be someone willing to project their fears and nonsense onto you. Not that I am closed off to contradictory opinions, I am just not here for people with no first hand experiences trying to set the tone for shit they know nothing about. I am not here for hive mind mentality. What I am here for are meaningful experiences and connections – especially when I get to share them with the caliber of those who get it.

Recently someone told me that those big moves, the risks, the stepping outside of the comfort zone… while scary, are also where the growth is. I seek it. I invite it. I will it.

Looking back at my track record, I can’t say I disagree.

 

floral decay.
swapping hand written notes with pretty penmanship over instant messages.
when colors in the sky paint colors the way someone makes you feel.
removing all those contacts off my phone because they really don’t need to be there anymore (or deserved to be).
when imagery speaks louder than words.
when their musical taste aligns with yours.
a clean slate.
the deviation from my usual comfort zone and being pleasantly surprised when it welcomes me like a warm embrace.
chocolate + pb ice cream in bed.
a multitude of inside jokes.
when both cats pile up in bed with me.
when you know you’ve found one of the real ones and that the appreciation is reciprocal.
having things that are “ours” and no one else’s – and that I can have those things with more than one person without ego or competition.
seeing them and feeling nothing.
the realization I need to be better, kinder and more diligent towards myself. Nothing like getting sick (again) to push one into some self reflection about this flesh vessel.
accidental nudges that remind me that there is always room to practice a little more humility and gratitude… and a lot more grace.
how simpler times are so easily embodied in something as small as a photobooth picture with one of your best friends – and the flash of nostalgia, the smell of the beach, the song that was playing just falling out of your journal into your lap – all in a split second.
our mutual thoughts of my tresses wrapped around their fingertips.
the love affair with the “-ber” months, even if they seem to pass in the blink of an eye.
editing. extensively.
spooky autumn missives on black stationery.
picking your battles for the right reasons.
making someone see an overlooked song in a completely different light.
watching friends make a dream come true.
realizing that everything in life is a choice and in knowing that, it makes it much easier to process or swallow as things unfold.

 

The maiden voyage of a new spooky mug
When you can hear their dimples sink as they speak
When that photo in your messages awakens you harder than that first cup of a.m. coffee
Attention to the often overlooked details – like my favorite coffee waiting for my arrival.
Killing them softly with words, penmanship and scented ephemera
Cheating on Tom with Harrison over pizza + cuddles
Card pulls filled with promise
Climbing into a bed made with freshly laundered everything
Two. Months. And the uncontainable excitement that comes with it.
When you are served banquets over crumbs – and they’re *delicious*
When you warm your hands on a cup filled of something hot & tasty
Plotting bestie visits
Falling asleep to the scent of lavender and cedar wood
When you experience an intimate first that brings you to tears
When you can have earnest & vulnerable conversations
The out-of-body like nap on the acupuncture table
When I can say, feel, do things with absolute certainty
While it feels like square one again. finally feeling “well” enough to go back to the gym
Being circled by monarchs, hummingbirds and a green beetle in the same fleeting moment
When the air starts to feel like Autumn once more (and it is SO welcome)
When the band-aid is shaped in the form of an impromptu trip to the mountains for axe throwing (I suck!), goat petting and the apple picking that should have happened but didn’t
Halloween shaped scrub daddy sponges. (how have I been sleeping on these!?)
When it’s better they aren’t in your life anymore – and you can still love them from afar, in your own way
Busting out the Fall scents: spiced cider, marshmallow, library, by the fireplace, chai
When you stumble on old photos of yourself from 4 years ago and you don’t recognize that dead inside looking human anymore.
When the fb memories that pop up are nothing but good things and don’t feel like a kick in the ribs.
When it is given to you, willfully.

 

Saying those really hard goodbyes. Bee is always one of the hardest but all of the Familia Time was soul healing and necessary.

Reza and I went to see The Lion King broadway production and it was everything that I dreamt of and more. It was goosebump, tear inducing beauty. So glad I shared that experience with R. bucket list ✔️

Being a Costco Chillona™ with Ginny. Man, that woman is the kind of woman so many people wish they could call “friend”. She may be friend to some but to me she is family and watching her evolve, grow and transcend…. you fucking WISH you had that kind of force of nature within your hemisphere. I am fortunate enough to have that and more. traviesas4lyfe.

90 day fiancee trash sessions, rare steak and sweating my ass off with my Birthday Twin who was a total delight to host. Easy and respectful house guests make the world go ’round. Sometimes dating apps give you best friends. Who would have thought?!

Early Grey roses. Where have these been all my life?! Haunting. A pale shade of lavender grey like the way lips change colors from a final breath of life. The way the Atlantic looked at me for the first time or perhaps the way the sky looks before she is about to part with fury. That’s what they spoke to me before I even brought them home.

Aubergine shaded tresses for Fall because Jason wills it so.

La Jolla Cove tidepool toe dipping on a scorching day.

Plan solidification for the next adventure that no doubt will be transformational. I am absolutely jumping out of my skin for all of it.

The way the Coven rallies for one another. We lost another coven familiar this week and my heart breaks for our girl who was, and still is the best cat mom ever.

Something I have been really coming to terms with is teaching myself to trust vulnerable exposure with others. Holy fuck is it a hard thing to do. It is not comfortable in any way and to have it welcomed with open arms free of judgement? My ladies got me in all my tender facets. The more I surround myself with positive male influence, be it friends, partners, lovers… the more I come to terms on where so many things had gone wrong for me. I would like to think that I have overcome some of those wounds but every now and then one of them inadvertently step in my mine field that was left behind. Mines I didn’t even know were there… and then the chain reaction goes off. I thankfully have the wherewithal to recognize it’s not about *them* but more about *me*. And that’s when the shovel comes out to start filling the holes back up… with healthier things. When you get used to the being treated with dismissal and invalidation and then you don’t? When you’re treated from a place of complete trust, consent, respect for my safety? Talk about a mind fuck. The best kind of fuck. And as much as it feels frightening, I’m allowing myself because it’s what I need and deserve until this muscle is nice enough to flex.

When I’m poetically written about.

Unexpected and necessary rainfall and the petrichor it unearthed. I took myself outside and stood in it. No cares about how wet I got, or how frizzy it made me. There’s something utterly medicinal in rainwater, freshly painted toes and bare feet on wet concrete. It was a baptism and cleansing this Harvest Moon eve knew I needed.

When R and I get chills and tears from the exact same moments.

Resuming back to some semblance of normalcy. Routine can be beautiful and grounding, too.

Pairing the perfect fragrance/song/mood to the weather. Today it was Jonny Cota Parfum + Echo and The Bunnymen’s “ocean rain” + longing + summer sprinkles.

Your port in my heavy storms
Harbours the blackest thoughts
.

When that song comes on that I wish I could share with you but I can’t and don’t. So maybe I will smile or cry or perhaps? Both. Not from sadness though, because I know we’re free. Today it was a Soft Kill.

Our neighbor community that I will never stop pinching myself over. This space and the people around it has held R+I up in so many ways.

I am getting really tired of people with no boundaries thinking I am like them. Please don’t come at me with things I never asked for or chose not to share with you. And it being paired with passive aggressive comments, manipulation or excuses is something I am not here for. I can smell that shit a mile away now. I may share a lot but when it comes to the those things and people I hold ultra close, I keep those things private or in the confines of trust for a reason. Fostering emotional safety is a goal. My peace is fucking important and I protect it, fiercely. There is always going to be someone who wants to roll up and shit on your lawn when all you’re trying to do is hold your keep only to get gaslit when I say “hey, not cool” or perhaps say nothing at all. I am fucking exhausted and honestly, heartbroken. I know where my place and level are. I wish I could say the same about everyone else.

When you’d rather be told you look “happy” instead of “good”. Lately observations about my “glow” have escaped the mouths of others and I can’t help but beam more because I know how it got there. A month late from the anniversary of my mental break from 4 years ago… and I forgot about it, which I guess is a testament of the tremendous and painstaking effort I have sunk into healing myself. Because looking forward is a much better place to be, even if I have to look over my shoulder from time to time.

Today a core memory was made. I was listening to the new Holy Fawn album. A rare San Diego summer storm was coming down thanks to Tropical Storm Kay. I knew it was coming. I opened up the envelope in my dripping doorway. And there I am, looking back at myself, and wept profusely. A proverbial shower of salt and sky and my new passport in between my fingertips. Drenched. It may not feel like a monumental thing to anyone else but this was the very last piece of a former life that needed changing. The weight of seeing a name you don’t identify with anymore is a heavy one and today is not that day. Not anymore or ever because Garcia is who I am. It’s who I always was. The first stamp that’s going in this baby is going to be glorious.

 

The return from Mexico has been an absolute whirlwind of experience and reconnection. You don’t realize just how much you crave and require specific things until they’re slapping you across the face, in the best of ways. A bunch of moments…

A brief one day visit + sushi with my birthday twin – looking forward to having him back here.

Tears, hugs and a WAY overdue reunion with my Helga. 20+ years of friendship with Carolin and god, it was so good to see her and have a little time doing all the things and while the visit was also short-lived, it was a reminder that this needs to happen more often. Three years was just way too long.

After 3 years, Coven Garcia was finally under the same roof for one more moment before Bee flies back to Japan this coming week, which I am so not ready for. It was so good to be surrounded by Familia as much as I have as of late and while it had not the best circumstances attached to it, we made the best of it.

Amenra. Live. I haven’t been to a show in a good while, much less a metal show that absolutely destroyed me in the best of ways. Fucking phenomenal and getting to share that with My Florist made it even more special. There is something so undeniably magical and medicinal in sharing a “first” with someone who is equally as enthusiastic about it as you. And it being a reunion after a 2 month gap was just a breath of fresh air I needed in my lungs. I missed Him.

Solidified the plans to check off some huge bucket list items. I am absolutely crawling out of my skin. Long gone are those days of waiting for someone else to do these things for me. I want it? I’m getting it. I deserve. Time doesn’t stop for anyone so the gifts of experience and adventure are around the corner.

After much discussion and approval, I moved R over to a new High School. I am grateful to be zoned for some good options and I feel good about this change because freshman year was balls and they need more options and stimuli. It was very much a big lesson in sometimes things seem right for us and it’s ok to say “this isn’t working” and moving on. First day is tomorrow.

And the rest…

Flowers + beans
Halloween loot hunting (aka home decor season)
Still very much dealing with joint + muscle flares from getting covid and I am not happy about the prolongation. This blows.
24 hr diner parking lot smooches
Getting to see several friends I haven’t seen in FOREVER.
Taking that last shard of my SSRI and hoping it can stay that way. I worked hard for this.
Having an “our thing”
Being called “cutie” in a British accent. holy hell. my parts.
Lucifer getting a mansion enclosure upgrade.
Post metal hand holding
When you expect the worst only to be pleasantly surprised.
Driving past the spot where former words of love were spoken for the first time and it not stinging anymore.
Sending and receiving snail mail goodies.
Compersion
Overdue embraces
Looking forward to the new routine and going back to the damn gym.
teddy bear sunflowers
90 mph on an empty freeway, windows down, hair everywhere and Ogentroost. Loud.

 

Another trip home in the books. Between scheduling, logistics, a complexity of feelings and then catching covid so close to departure, this was not an easy trip to make on any level. Choosing to leave Reza behind was a tough call to make – but when we were barely clearing negative tests, I had to make a choice for the sake of parental safety. I was really looking forward to having them come with me. What I wasn’t prepared for was the cruel, reinforcing realization that this parenting thing is really a solo job. Even when the asks are minimal at best and in this case, under circumstances of real duress. I see that and I can only count on myself – well, and the friends who show up for both of us better than blood can, without even having to be asked. It was another layer of hard I didn’t plan for but those wagons circled so I could still go on my own since my fares were not refundable and time with Mom is running out. I am so grateful I have people in my life that I can trust, that are selflessly filled with care and empathy. Ingrid stepping in to stay with Reza was something I don’t know how I will ever repay. Somehow, the universe sees me and continues to provide.

By the skin of my teeth I managed to get our recovery in, turn in some art, work, have Reza + the cats covered and tie all my loose ends so I could go with a little less stress. I am grateful that the journey was relatively hiccup free and that Mexico is still practicing precautions and covid protocols – cause I sure as fuck do not want to catch this shit again.

Mazatlan changes more and more with every visit. Buildings get taller, the gentrification creeps in yet in so many corners, the nostalgia remains in the old reliables: the cracked tiles, your favorite ice cream stand still being there and trees growing out of the walls. It was unbelievably warm, swampy, but medicinal in her own ways – gifting me with one morning of a fleeting summer thunderstorm, just like I remembered them.

Truth be told, the majority of the trip was spent at home. Sitting in the room with Mom, naps, helping where we could without getting snapped at by Dad who in his old age only becomes more set in his ways. Change is not welcome there. Of course the eats are always choice but when I am still in covid recovery, things weren’t as easy on or for me. My sisters and I had a couple days under the same roof before the 3 became 2 and now only 1 remains there. It’s a tough spot for everyone, really. Our nightly outing for a walk/dinner was about as much excitement we got but we savored it nonetheless. It had been 3 years since we could and when the time is fleeting, you soak in what you can.

I wish I could say that things with Mom are anywhere that had certainty but the nature of this disease is a lot of variables, unknowns and as it slowly advances, the grief only amplifies. And when you’re dealing with so many different personalities around Her, it’s all very complex and while well meaning, can be challenging within itself. My family has been actively mourning the living for 5+ years now and while we were given a rough timeline of 6-12 months, it could be more, or less. We just don’t know and Dad is so mad about us even having asked what that timeline was. I try to give him a ton of grace and empathy where I can, even if I don’t agree.

We all dance with grief in our own ways and it can be the worst partner ever. It’s so individually tailored and personal and there isn’t one right way to go about it that is right or wrong as long we don’t interject our own process into that of another. There is something so cruel about watching someone you love slowly deteriorate into this shell of the human you remember them to be. A frail and delicate vessel of paper thin skin, a glimpse into the mortality we all face who just so happens to stare back at you with confusion and vacancy, with the eyes of the one that brought you into this world.

It is something I don’t wish on anyone to have to endure.

Leaving gets more and more difficult because we have to treat every goodbye as the final one. I have had to have that “final goodbye” conversation with Her and myself more than once. Over and over… and over…. and while I have made a ton of peace with it, and Her, it is not easy and in ways will never feel right.

I am glad I made it home with a couple days to spare before going right back into the grind. The unwind and unpack is something I will be doing for a good while.

To everyone who messaged, supported, showed up and listened to me throughout all of this process and journey – forever grateful to it and you for being a part of this with me. I am eternally grateful for all of that kindness and generosity.

 

Time and time again I am reminded that the unsettled feeling underneath my skin is there for a reason and my god, is it consistently proven right.

What’s one more notch on that bedpost of disappointment, right?

 

July came and went. How is it that more than half a year has already passed? It certainly wasn’t a boring one that’s for damn sure…

Waking up to new music/album announcements from one of your favorite bands

Warming your cold, bare feet on toasty, sunlit concrete

When a flurry of art is sent your way because seeing it reminded Him of You.

Tam Dao scented 1930’s courtship under a tangerine quarter moon ~ I forget how utterly delicious it is to compose and send letters, even more when I know how eager the intended hands are to hold them. November cannot come soon enough to meet that sea with my earth.

The early jump on Halloween loot and finding the perfect spiderweb print bakeware.

The world may be falling apart in many ways but others are celebrating and finding excitement in things like the Webb Telescope images being released by NASA

The biggest full moon of the year

Chipping away at the list of those very big things.

Nostalgia fueled conversations founded in honesty.

Missing you. I fucking hate that I miss my friend that is no more and it sucks because it takes everything in me to not just call him up, or eviscerate him with my words and brown eyed vulnerability or tell him about all the times I have thought of us, how we would just fucking love to share [insert everything here]. Friendship loss is just as, if not as monumental as losing a partner and I cannot help but think about what we had often. I hate that this is where we are now but deep down in there I knew he was always going to be a blue eyed, walking heartbreak. It happened twice and I’m not in the business of third time’s the charm, no matter how much vacancy was left behind.

I have been working through some anger as of late. It really isn’t anger as much as it’s a shield for disappointment. It is so hard to stay hopeful when the world is overcome with this plague of abject selfishness. The amount of mental notes I have made as of late... scribbles…. “holy shit do not act like that, EVER”. And it’s wild to me just how easily people just unhinge their jaw in an effort to squash the small joys that others want or try to have. “Do they not hear themselves? jfc… it really isn’t that hard to keep scrolling”…

Long anticipated and beyond overdue reunions filled with airport tears. If you ever want to feel a bit of humanity, stand in baggage claim one day and watch people reconnect with their most cherished. Seeing Bee is a breath of fresh air.

Rekindling love with my creative muse, even if it’s a slow churning round of foreplay that I am getting heavily impatient for.. let’s get to that deep, clawing, unabashed fuck already.

How gold leaf now reminds us of one another.

Healthy love and care can only exist in places when you trust someone enough to travel down their own path, for the right reasons, for their growth – even if you cannot be a part of it. I hate those kinds of parting of ways and while it wasn’t a goodbye, it was an uncomfortable and sad moment that broke me inside a little. The silver lining there is the beauty in that discomfort because it’s pleading and gnawing at me to ask myself bigger questions about what I want, need and most of all? Deserve. This is a lot of unexplored territory for me.

A necessary weekend getaway to Rosarito which brings me to…

After 2.5 years of pandemic frogger, the child and I finally got the alligator log on the tail end of the month. Covid is a mind fuck, I can tell you that and when you’re dealing with a lot variables and uncertainty? Fuck. I ended up getting put on the antiviral treatment which pissed my delicate system off and my mouth felt and tasted like I had been sucking Tin Man dick.. for 5 days. It was awful. I have been in a serious pocket of feels with this one because nothing like having a ton of time to think (and overthink). I enjoy being alone, I enjoy my solitude immensely but there are fleeting moments where I do wish I wasn’t doing everything by myself and never is it more visible than when I am sick. And lord was I in it for a couple days there. A pocket of pain, nausea, fear and melancholy because sometimes, you just want someone else to take care of you for a change. True, selfless care. Not the kind of care that has emotional leverage attached to it. And when you are so used to doing everything? And not just for yourself? Asks are very hard to come by for me. Yet, somehow I have to force and allow myself to accept it because the amount of care and outpour I have received while recovering continues to be a testament to the circles and connections I have forged. It’s like opening the window and letting the light in even though you want shade. Holy shit is it uncomfortable. Nothing likes endless messages, bags of care, popsicles and my favorite mochi donuts just showing up on my doorstep to unravel a girl into a waterfall of tears. The timing of this contagion couldn’t have come at the worst time due to pending travel to see my family and my sister being here. There never really is a good time but this was most definitely Not. It. I want to hope that things will play out as they’re meant to and if not? Well, I can only do what I can, with what I have within my capacity. We can’t always get what we want all the time.

May the pink lines be singular soon.