Is Summer Over Yet?

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 Tap tap… is this thing on? It has been a while hasn’t it? Shit.

You close a window and then you find you don’t revisit it for months. I mean, I have written but let’s be real, it hasn’t really been any substance. Like eating a veggie burger pretending it was something else. There was no meat in those buns.

Truth be told is I am pretty overwhelmed on so many fronts that I feel like I have to retreat in order to make any headway. It’s what I do. The minute the vulnerability starts to set in, the walls raise themselves automatically. Only a small few get to peek into that window. Or better yet, very few want to.

For starters, I have been knee deep in deadlines and commitments. Being an artist is tough when you’re managing a household. People can assume you just wake up and shit your talent out but in my case it’s a little tougher. Add that to being a graduate from Insecurity University, I always find myself in a state of second guess, a place where the rulers are always out wondering where I measure up. I would like to believe that what I have to offer and do has its place in the world. It does. But don’t think for a second it hasn’t come with nights of anxiousness and tossing, wondering whether my tiny little doodles will be viewed as something wonderful or is it one footstep away from tripping into the land of mediocrity. You put it out there only for people to spew their insecurities at you, make comments about my appearance or to go as far as insult the way I speak. Holy shit.

Blogging has really changed from the time I started writing publicly about my life in 2001. It was fun, exhilarating, I met some amazing people that to this day still “know” me. I wish I could go back to that place where people held each other up online. In that world I found the “me too!”, the “I am not alone”, the “we are so alike”. This amazing sense of community. Now there seems to be so much cutting down, haterade and negativity. So much so that at times it becomes unbearable to want to be a part of it. I hide, remove and unfollow at the drop of a hat. It’s hard to share with as much fearlessness as before. Granted, I’m writing now, but these types of posts where I cut the vein to bleed all over the screen are few and far between. (That was a metaphor btw, I don’t need a wellness check. No, really.)

But alas, I plug away and am trying to work and network harder than I have in a long time. It’s an internal struggle that will sooner or later manifest itself into something. When the juices flow and when I am busy on my terms is when I am at my best.

The past couple of weeks have been tough though. Our space wasn’t ours for a couple weeks. My parents came to visit and I hate to say, it was one of the toughest visits with them to date. My mother has Alzheimers and the change from the last time I saw her was pretty obvious. The forgetfulness is more present than ever and every time I had to remind her where the trash can was (daily), or tell her for the 10th time how old Reza was, my heart broke a little more. Every once in a while I would get a glimpse of the Mom I know and when that happened I smiled on the outside but inside I wanted to go to the bathroom, close the door and cry. Watching someone you love lose their cognizance and awareness is incredibly sad, even more when you know they’re afraid and aren’t in an environment that will stimulate them. I wish I could say there is a happy ending to this story but there isn’t. My sweet, doting Mother will not know who I am one day and that is a really tough pill to swallow.

Pair that with my Father and well, let’s just say things didn’t end on the best note. I am coming to terms with the fact that he and I will never really mesh. Daddy issues. How cliche. He comes from the Old School and I am not part of that alumni. Mexican culture has its “way” about things sometimes one of which entails back handed compliments and criticizing you under the guise of “opinion”. A strong case of a well intended message but an absolutely shitty delivery. Either way, none of those things have ever been my M.O. and honestly, it hurts when you’re getting it from one of your parents. All it does is make me feel like nothing I do is good enough. Truth be told is we have nothing in common other than family ties, that became painfully obvious. One can only get poked at so much before you finally blow your top, which I did. You have to understand that I rarely see discourse or argument in my home. It just doesn’t happen… and when you get a week of it? A week of getting a push back ON EVERYTHING? And it was crimson tide week? It was very overwhelming for me. I. Lost. It.

I can only end up in tears so many times behind closed doors before my husband chimed in to the mix and Dad didn’t like it. So much that he left refusing to look me in the eye and stood there like stick when I tried to hug him goodbye. I hope you never have that much pride in your body that you’d rather call a cab than get a ride to the airport from your daughter who had a moment of vulnerability. And then I wonder where my feelings of insecurity and inadequacy come from. Ha. Being kind, admitting you’re wrong, finding the middle of the road? Those things are not weaknesses. And then you come to the sad conclusion that in your adult life you cannot recollect your Dad ever telling you that he’s proud of you. Think about that for a minute.

The reality is a cruel one. You come to terms and grips with your own mortality when you know your family is on the slow decline toward theirs. All of a sudden I am envisioning what it will be like for Reza, or how hard it would be to be my Father, losing his life partner to an illness. It is all so complicated and age isn’t making it any easier… on anyone. You can only deny it happening for so long.

One thing I will say, I am so grateful for Josh. He has been a wall of support through all of it and not once has he ever discredited or invalidated my feelings with excuses. He above all others knows ME and who knows where I would be if I didn’t have him in my court. He has been in the best of headspace, working hard on himself and it shows so much in all of his actions and words. I really could not be more proud of him and all the work he has been doing and there are not enough words to express the love and gratitude I have for him.

I am ready for Summer to be OVER. I want my boring Sonoma County life back, my routine, ritual, quiet weekends in my home, couch snuggles watching Churrazo Friday.

Reza goes back to school on Wednesday and it is going to allow me far more free time to focus on me and my artwork. At the very least I have something to really look forward to. We booked a last minute impulse trip. We are going to Mexico in October for Dia De Los Muertos and you have NO IDEA how much I am looking forward to a vacation with my Triangle. It needs to happen like you have no idea.

Did you make it this far? Thanks for doing so, truly.