Disclosure: Although I was invited by JP Morgan CHASE to an intimate evening reception of financial empowerment to meet Brittney Castro, all opinions come from the bottom of my blogging heart. ❤
For this blog post I tried to think of the earliest memory I have of making a mistake. It was nearly impossible and not because I never made mistakes. Being the runt of my siblings made me not only the most annoying of the three, but also the most likely to piss my brother off. Still, today I couldn’t remember the bloopers of my childhood, those mistakes were just too minimal to register. Don’t you just wish you could go back in time to when the biggest mistake you ever made was recording over your sister’s favorite 90s mix-tape?
It’s that ugly word no one likes to take ownership of. It can conjure up irrational feelings of jealousy, delusions, and paranoia. Anxiety can show up unannounced and uninvited. And while there are many ways to soothe your chest of the pain and settle your heart’s frantic beating, does the anxiety ever really go away? That is the frame of mind I was in last week. I was feeling a little less than inspired and bogged down in anxious thoughts.
We all have one thing about ourselves that we fixate on. The one thing that, like a blemish on our soul, makes us feel incapable, unworthy, and ashamed. When you’re in complete silence, alone with your thoughts, what does your mind say to you? Does it accuse you of not being beautiful, successful, or intelligent enough?
While I have always loved writing, I must admit I lived for three decades afraid to pursue it with any real purpose. In fact, I vividly remember being in High School and publishing my writing in a zine (because that’s what you did in the ‘00s) under a pseudonym because I was afraid of what my peers would think. It is only now, in my thirties, that I am learning to be less haphazard and more fully invested in this craft that I love.
Does that ever happen to you? Do you ever look at your future and see a blank canvas staring back at you? Does that inspire excitement or fear?
For Miami local, Courtney Einhorn, there is so much possibility in a blank canvas, and very little room for fear. By now, you may know that I am completely obsessed with street art. So I knew Courtney’s art long before I ever met her. She is the artist of this parking meter situated in front of The Wynwood Building. However, the concept of “live painting”, what Courtney has become known for, was completely foreign to me until I met her in person at an art event I was covering.
How do you find time for it all? That is the question I get asked most often when people find out that I teach, blog, and dedicate a lot of my time to volunteer work. The truth is, finding a balance between working a full-time job and pursuing a creative passion can be exhausting. The danger in that is that since our hearts are the center of our desires and motives, when they become tired all the projects in our life suffer too. Usually, that is the point we find ourselves simply living mechanically without the slightest clue how we will get anywhere or even what our direction is. It is almost as if we are facing an insurmountable mountain, blindfolded, and without hiking gear. It’s nearly impossible to achieve any type of success.
Whether it’s my schedule or my thoughts, I am always racing. In Miami, living slowly is a catchphrase that’s easily thrown around yet difficult to live by. The days feel shorter and I always find myself wishing I had more time. Except, of course, during rush hour on any given day. That’s when time completely stops and I can almost watch myself age in the rear-view mirror. Few things are as stressful as being caught in Miami traffic. One of my main goals in 2016 has been to achieve tranquility in the moments I need it the most, but truth be told, that is easier written than done. That is why when, halfway through the year, Lincoln Motor Company offered me a day of “quiet luxury”, I simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to hit the reset button and try again. The itinerary was full of all the things I love about Miami; good food, gorgeous views, and great venues.
Interestingly, the person who taught me to read was not a teacher, it was my mother. To motivate me, she promised she’d throw me a reading party when I was able to read my first paragraph. Her logic was, I needed to be able to read the writing on the cake. So, we practiced syallabic patterns every day, because that’s how you learn to read in Spanish, until I was ready to combine them and make words, and then we read sentences. Finally, the day of my party arrived. My mother invited everyone we knew to a park. There, she presented me with a huge sheet cake that read “Felicidades”. That day, my mother taught me that important milestones are to be celebrated.
I’m an escape artist of sorts. I find myself in situations dangerously close to death, and manage to escape them.
The first time I escaped death I was too young to form any recollection of it. Since I was only two years old, I have to rely on the memories of both my parents. The problem is that opposing sides always tend to tell a different story. Over time, I have come to piece together snippets of moments in time and thread a somewhat believable story. The year was 1987 in Venezuela. My mother watched as my belly swelled, listened to my insufferable shrieks, and instinctively knew something had to be wrong. My father’s pseudo-knowledge of medicine acquired through years of hypochondria and anxiety, confirmed that something had to be wrong with their youngest child. Doctors suspected renal failure, later studies confirmed I had been born with a defect that had to be corrected through an operation.
What’s worse than being called to the principal’s office? Being an adult and getting called in to your boss’ office to receive a sub-par review of your work ethic. Now, much like religion, work ethic is a belief system of choice and a personal one at that. That’s not to say that you can just attribute your bad habits to being a matter of personality, and continue behaving in the same patterns that got you called in to the principal’s office to begin with.
I have partnered with Belen of A Hint of Life, as part of the Spring Clean Your Life series to discuss how to toss a bad work ethic when you’ve made a mess of things at the office.