The day love started drifting away, conformity made its way through the door.
She was sitting on the red kiddy table set against the wall, sipping on a scorching cup of tea and nibbling on a cheese roll, while he rambled on about something or another that she couldn’t keep up with because she was drowning in her own head. She kept staring at him, nodding her head every now and then so it would look like she was actively participating in the monologue. But she wasn’t. She was drowning in her own head, realizing how severely fragile their relationship was. She always referred to it as holding water. No matter how hard you try to keep it between your fingers, it always runs away, leaving you empty.
It was this same water that was swooshing in her mind. She knew this, so much, that when he stopped in his tracks and asked her what was going on, all she could say was:
–mmm, nothing, nothing really
–but you look as though something’s on your mind
–there’s always something on my mind
He had moved into the apartment a few weeks before. It was a two bedroom apartment on the last floor of the building. It had an open floor plan with high vaulted ceilings that made it look bigger than it actually was. The lack of furniture made it seem even bigger. Like a pair of pants two sizes two big that not matter how much you try to keep cinched to your waist, they always end up falling off. A sectional sofa they selected together in Rooms To Go, the small brown TV unit they built together from Ikea and a king size bed that was heavier than a dead body – which they barely carried up three flights of stairs – were the only furnishings decorating the place. Scarce could be the word, but the real wanting in there wasn’t furniture, it was decision.
Uncertainty hung in the air like a weak ceiling fan, creaking as it turned feeling nauseated from so much spinning. It was so palpable she could’ve sworn she felt it go through her entire body, as if she had been coated with haze. Life, for them, always depended on something or another to which she had no power over, no control over, no saying over. That night, she went to bed knowing there was nothing left to do but to brace herself for what was coming.
She began going through the motions of everyday, breathing deeply every morning, knowing with certainty that the day was coming, she just didn’t know when or how. The impending arrival of her very own dooms day weight her down, but she moved swiftly, stepping carefully over each egg shell. She succumbed to what was written.
*photo credit: https://www.schuminweb.com/photo_features/empty-apartment/
I have a crush on the mailman. How ridiculous does that sound? I – a 39 year old woman – has a “crush” on the “mailman”. Let me say that again. I a woman of 39 has a crush on the mailman.
No matter how much I repeat it to myself, and to others, it doesn’t stop sounding ridiculous. But it is a fact that my days lately have been consumed by literally hunting the mailman. Now that I think about it I should’ve named this post “How to hunt a mailman and other hypotheses”.
I moved into a new place mid-summer last year. It’s a really cute, small apartment in the heart of West Kendall. Yes, that’s Miami. So I moved into this place and a few weeks after I met the mailman. At the time I was not fully aware of what I am today, but the first time I saw the mailman I thought to myself, “well, he’s cute.” But I left it there, as I do everything. I just left it there because why in this world would I even consider dating the mailman? Well, why not? I am single, available and considerably datable (a person who is worthy of taking out on a date). Considerably.
The truth is I left it there because, as I have realized today, considerably datable and all, I am just not brave enough to even ask the mailman for his name. Instead, I told my bestfriends. My bestfriends. Does this sound middle-school-ish to you yet? Let me break it down to you again. I, a 39 year old woman, has a crush on the mailman, but instead of asking him out, I tell my two bestfriends. Yes. Totally middle-school. I have officially regressed.
Back to my bestfriends. My friends are both of the Cancer sign, strong women who charge head on like a bull when they see a man they like. Like, what is there to lose? Pride? Who the hell cares about that?! Pft! And then there’s me. A Capricorn. Should I say more? I am often referred to as Wednesday Addams. And that about covers it. I could be dying inside to tell a man I really, REALLY like him. And all you will ever see is this:
I’m a little, just a tiny bit socially challenged. My version of flirting is this:
So you see my dilemma here. I am entirely too scared to even approach him. I refrain myself to just hunt him. When I see him I just smile and say hi. And while yes, I have exchanged a few words with him, I cannot for the life of me come up with something remotely interesting to say to him. Which is why, I just don’t.
So I tell my friends about this crush, and ALL HELL HAS BROKEN LOOSE. Like, OH-MY-GOD, the mailman is the trending topic. There is even a WhatsApp chat open in his name. If he only knew.
We spend hours over dinner at Isakaya, shopping for furniture at Rooms To Go, having lunch at Pei Wei, you name it, just talking about the mailman for hours. Text messages come and go, all around the mystery of this man, who knows nothing about me, and he just innocently does his job. Well, all he does is leave those God awful mail inserts that I end up putting in the recycling bin. But the truth is also, that I know nothing about him. So we have decided to start a list about the things we do know about the mailman.
- He is a mailman. Duh! Obviously.
- He is Cuban. Presumably from Havana (judging by his accent).
- He is chunky. But hey, who am I to judge anyone by their weight. I think he’s really cute. (Dear Mailman, if you ever read this, please know I think you are very, very cute.)
- That’s it.
We know not his name, not if he’s married, not if he’s engaged, not if he has family, if he likes to drink, smoke, go to the beach. WE KNOW NOTHING, JON SNOW. NOTHING.
And it’s killing me. (Judging by this post)
The hypotheses about the mailman could be endless, and hilarious. More than once I have broken in full blown laugh, no matter where, at the most ridiculous theories my friends and I come up with. It has actually gotten out of control. But it is so much fun.
There is one peculiar thing about the mailman. He listens to music while he delivers the mail. He always carries a Bluetooth speaker with him, and he listens to all kinds of music while he methodically pushes envelope after envelope in the mailboxes. I have heard rock, reggaeton, romantic pop, classic 80’s ballads, you name it. He has played them all. And I enjoy watching him do that. I wonder if he ever knows that I sit in my balcony just to hear his music.
He also carries a chain clipped to his belt where he has his keys. As he walks, he swings the chain back and forth, jingling as he goes. He may not even notice he does that, as it seems it’s part of his rhythm when he walks.
So why am I telling you all this, you may wonder? Well, I don’t even know myself. But if you know a mailman, probably in his 30s, who delivers mail in the West Kendall area, let him read this. Maybe he’ll figure out that Wednesday Addams has been trying to flirt after all. I believe in six degrees of separation.
Till then, I’ll be listening from my balcony.
*Pictures courtesy of Google search.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t always promises and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth and you learn and you learn
with every good-bye you learn.
“Houston, in the blind…Houston, in the blind…”
Sandra Bullock – or her character I should say – desperately looks for a signal back to earth in the middle of nowhere in space. Gravity. She’s looking for gravity.
I’ve been looking for gravity. Floating out in space like a lost satellite. No signal. I got on a bus and forgot to get off on the last stop. I’m roaming, constantly moving somewhere but don’t know where to.
Gravity. I lost my gravity. Houston, in the blind.
A message comes through and I sit, for days at a time analyzing every word, every letter. And nothing makes sense. I make a list of all possible reasons why this message arrived. But I never answer. I dissect it into small segments. Read it. Read it again. No answer.
Houston, in the blind.
If we are all bound to be attracted to something, the way gravity pulls us to earth, why are we still so lost? Floating, roaming, spacing out and not getting any signal. Sending messages out in the blind? Receiving them. Not answering. Not listening.
Houston, in the blind. This is the Ugly Duckling.
I keep moving. Constantly moving, going somewhere. I don’t know when and if I’ll make it there. But the bus never stop. The satellite continuously transmits a signal that nobody receives.
Houston, in the blind. This is the Ugly Duckling. Houston, in the blind, searching for gravity.
- not acknowledging or expressing regret.“he remained unapologetic about his decision”
A few weeks ago, in the midst of one of the toughest heartbreaks of my life – not that I’ve had many, although one is enough – I decided to tattoo the word “unapologetic” on my right arm. As it is customary for me, I simmer on the idea of a tattoo for a long time before I actually decide to mark my skin permanently with something that could potentially be a temporary emotion.
Therefore, I must clarify – although I don’t need to offer explanations to anyone but myself – that even though this tattoo occurred in the midst of emotional turmoil, I had actually given plenty of thought to this one single 12 letter word for a long time, before branding it on my skin.
Unapologetic is a harsh word. It’s often misunderstood and thought of as that person who point blank does not care about the damage or pain that his/her actions may cause to others. I do what I want and I will not apologize for it.
Far from it.
In this journey called life, more often than not, we become this mixture of who we want to be with what we think others want us to be. We abide by society rules, follow the teachings of our families and we end up being very, very…unhappy. I was an unhappy human. I still am. I struggle daily with the choices that will either make me or break me. But I have a strong desire, above all, to be ME. I want to look back in life at 87 – if I make it there – and say: I became the human I wanted to be.
At some point in the past two years, I began changing the human I was for the human I long to be. I stopped caring about others’ opinions of me. No, I did not turn into a rebel, I just don’t allow myself to make decisions based on the opinions of others. I put me and my own first. I prioritize my life and my needs not only in the order where it makes sense, but in the order where it makes ME HAPPY. I started what I called the project All-About-Me.
Oftentimes I found myself apologizing for my feelings, as if, my feelings were germs. I’m sorry if I’m asking you to give me what I deserve. I’m sorry I feel frustrated. I’m sorry I feel insecure. I’m sorry I’m disappointed.
I am not sorry at all. Feelings are a consequence of an action, and yes, although they occur on a very cellular and personal level, feelings are also an external responsibility. Some feelings, are inevitably provoqued. And no one, and I mean NO ONE, can make you apologize for something they caused. As you are responsible for the way you feel, you are also responsible for what you have made others feel. Let’s start wearing our big girls and boys pants, and realize, you are responsible for the way you treat others. Period. No excuses.
When you start putting yourself first, you also realize that there is a level of freedom out there that you have not fully reached, but you are well on your way. The freedom of not letting anyone dictate your life. I won’t say the process has been easy. I’ve found myself questioning everything I do, and asking people for their opinion, more than I care to ask. But there is an immense field of potential when you realize that no matter what you do, the world will continue turning.
So I gave myself this set of rules/questions to live by and those I use everytime I find the inevitable fork in the road:
- Does it add positively to your life?
- Does it harm you or anyone in the process?
- Is it legal, moral or ethical? (Note, morals are purely a personal concept. Use yours, not your neighbors’)
- Is your child, or family, fed, cared for and in a comfortable position?
- Does it make you feel happy?
If the answer is Yes, by all means, DO THE THING! Whether is a tattoo, a new car, a piece of clothing, food, ending a relationship, letting go of a friend. Whatever it is. If it’s not adding constructively and positively to your life, DON’T DO IT or LET IT GO.
I have made myself the promise to live unapologetically. What does that mean to me? Easy. If I lived a truthful, loyal and caring life for me and mine, I’m simply not sorry about anything.
I am and will be Unapologetically Me.