Follow the Yellow Brick Road…


We are owners of our own happiness, of our own destiny. There is no one to blame for the good or the bad, there is no one that has the responsibility, it is all in us. Call it as you like, the keys, the steering wheel, the light, at the end all you have to know is that it is within you and that it is that voice that talks only to you the one that matters. N ne has earned the right to judge you, no one knows what is best, know one can determine how is the life you should live, God gave us the gift of free will and we need to learn how to use it wisely. Free will does not mean do as you please without taking into consideration the rest of the people besides you, it is the right that you have to make your choices and be responsible for them; and assume your responsibility with every step you take.

 

One of the most fascinating stories I ever read was the Wizard of Oz and it has always been one of my favorite tales. At the end Dorothy realized that she had the key to return to Kansas all along her journey. But she needed to defeat the wicked witch, she had to meet the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow, she had to face demons and defeat challenges, she had to get to a point in her journey, following that yellow brick road to realize at the end that it was all a charade and that it was the journey that made her realize where she wanted to be, and most important, that she had the power all along, all she had to do was use it.

 

Just as Dorothy, we all own those red shoes, and just like her, we follow the road we believe we have to follow. It is up to us to learn from each experience and to grasp the importance of each moment and each person we meet. And it is up to us to be responsible for our choices, for those moments when we say ‘Let me try this’ and understand that any outcome can happen and at the end not to blame, not to judge, just to live and continue on our yellow brick road.

 

Far was I to know when I was 6 years old and I played in the Wizard of Oz production at my Elementary School that I would identify that story with life itself. And far was I to understand that even though I was playing the role of a secondary character, I have been wearing those bright red shoes all along…

 

Stay tuned!

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Inspiration


Sometimes it comes from nowhere and sometimes it is nowhere at all; sometimes, it is just in the little things that people do around you. And sometimes it is just the memories.

I believe that it is not the quantity but the quality, you can spend with a person just a couple of hours and it might feel like it was life time, not in the relative sense of the time spent, but in the amount of information that was shared, and more important, what was left after that encounter. That is what matters.

Last year we lost the life of one of the biggest treasures of my family, my aunt Aurora. She was a real angel on earth, not only because of her physical beauty which was honored so many times in beauty contests and endless words of affirmation, but also because of her huge heart, so big that many times it meant her own sacrifice for the happiness of others. We never spent much time together, but it was one of those people that give you quality, and I always looked up to her in a sense of admiring her heart and her way of being. I have vivid memories of her when my mom was sick and she came to our side, being my mom and mine, I remember her later driving her blue Toyota FJ around Caracas, and then  I remember those small snippets that were composed from short visits to her house or encounters in my Grandmothers place. But even though we did not share so many moments, I remember her smile, her voice and her love, just like it happened yesterday. She was so dear to me that I chose her as my Godmother and no matter what the social etiquette expects form a Godmother, she was always the perfect choice. And in the true sense of honesty with which I am writing these words, if my mom would have left me all those years ago during her illness, I would have wanted her as a substitute. She is so different than my mom, and at the same time they shared always such an equal essence that it takes a very detailed look to appreciate this, their bond was always beyond what anyone could see.

Her life was far from perfect, bad choices, broken hearts and many other twists and turns, but even with the truth of her reality, she is still an inspiration for me, a person that always made me want to be better, someone who just illuminated a room with the honesty of her heart.

When she got ill it was a big hit for the entire family, but even though submitted to the biggest pains and the most intense moments, she never lost who she was. She never blamed anyone, she never stopped believing in the love of her family and she always kept God very close to her heart. She never forgot and she saw each day as an opportunity no matter how miserable the pain was making her. It was hard not to be there, the mix of emotions that battle inside of you when you are far away from your loved ones and you just want to be there with them. We did not say goodbye, but during that phone call when I last spoke with her a few days before her passing, I knew it was going to be the last. In the middle of her pain, she just wanted to say beautiful words and hear beautiful stories, and in that conversation separated by geography, she left with me a phrase that will remain close to my heart forever:  ‘Just promise me that you will always be happy’.

It is not easy to be happy all the time and of course it is not viable, we all have our bad moments. But more than a promise to her, it is herself and her spirit that inspires me to take that phrase and live by it, to be thankful for every opportunity, every person and every moment, to live life in its fullest and not realize that even with pain and imperfection, life is so worth living.

As I have written before I have been blessed to have in my life the best role model in the world that is my mom, as well as the example of life and joy in my Grandmother, and in my aunt I have the inspiration of love and life and the blessing of understanding that you make your own happiness, no matter what the world seems to ‘see’.

With love to my ant Aurora, who yesterday celebrated 61 years of bringing happiness to all the lives she touched and who will continue to do so forever,

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Learning to share


Since I was a little girl I recall how my life in many ways was about being tough, I am not sure if it was because of how my life evolved or how the circumstances developed themselves, but I have countless memories about hearing how I had to be strong, how I had to just ‘suck it up’ and keep moving, how I had to keep on going no matter what. As I have described some other times, being an only child did not fill me with the cliche privileges, my parents did a great job in making me understand not only the value of things, but in general how life was, they never sugar coated anything and let me live first hand all the experiences, with the rawness of the pain and the knowledge of the consequences. Sometimes I wish that in some of those difficult moments I would have had a comforting hand that said ‘No worries, it will get better’, instead of the ‘Well, suck it up and keep moving!”. I did feel sad sometimes, I wanted to express how much it hurt, how much it affected me, but I saw how the reaction was completely different of what I thought should be and I just dedicated to spread my feelings in pages of nonsense that I now call writing.

I remember the first notebook I used to start throwing what I felt inside trying to calm that burning sensation in my chest, it was an orange hardcover notebook, I have had it for school and since there was not much to write in that subject I decided to start jotting words, whatever came out of my hand, with no order or meaning. At first, I thought it was poetry, I was fascinated with the subject , so I gave it a try. I think I did good in some cases since there was a good response form the poems I took to school, but I felt that something was missing, it was too short, to ethereal to really satisfy the feeling of getting rid of that burn. Then I started to write about my emotions, blunt and frank, and since I was 14 the feelings where expressed in form of the wishes and dreams of a teenager looking to be loved. I wrote, I did not like what came out, but in that love-hate relationship I had with my own creation, I realized that writing was a way of me sharing all those feelings that I felt I was not allowed to share with anyone else.

I was a happy girl, I had a happy life and I did not want to see friends and share all these intense emotions, I was sure that people where not interested in knowing about them, so I smiled. When my parents fought and I felt so much in the middle, I smiled, when kids in school did not like me, I smiled, when life seemed to be gloomy, I smiled. But in the inside so much more was happening, so many things that people where not able to see or understand. The day I overheard the boy I liked say that I was ‘Amazing but he was not sure he wanted to be my boyfriend’ I smiled, and for the world I did not care, but inside, inside there was another story going on, I was hurt, there was a hole in my heart and I felt like that for days, but no one knew, I just smiled and said ‘It is fine’. Why? why did I never tell my best friend how much it hurt? why didn’t I just cry for a few days like a normal teenager in my room? why did I not eat all the chocolate ice cream available? Because I knew that as soon as I said at home what had happened, my parents where just going to answer: Life goes on!

And it does, but I know realize how hard it is for me to share those emotions any other way, how difficult it is for me to just say ‘I am sad’ and not smile, how to realize what is really going on inside without pretending, being strong and smiling, and sometimes making the huge mistake of dedicating my burning feelings to people or circumstances that really do not even have anything to do with it. I have attributed solitude to love, frustration to failure, sadness to circumstance and I have lacked in just shouting what is really going on inside. Maybe this new notebook that is not orange and that is being shared with the world has helped me realize what really goes on inside me. Perhaps the turns and falls of life have showed me that there is no need to pretend happiness when you do not feel like it. Maybe between getting to know me and knowing others I have realized that I have to just not suck it up and seek a little support from others. I am not completely there yet, but I have seen how I have shared when I do not want to and I see how my brain processes the emotions and tells me it is time to come clean with myself.

A few weeks ago I folded and told my dad how alone I felt for the first time after 5 years of always saying I was happy; and today I told a friend I was going to miss him and in the middle of my good vibes for his new life, I was feeling sad to see him go.

This post is dedicated to those who have allowed me to express and not judge, to make me realize that we all have bad moments and that it is in sharing where you can realize how you can really solve what goes on. And if you cannot solve it, at least the chat proved to be a better option than the lock down of the heart…

Stay tuned!

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Inheritance


Today, as many Sundays, I called my beautiful Grandmother and spent over an hour sharing a good talk. I hung up feeling happy and blessed, even though we are far away geographically, we are so close in spirit that I can really sense that she is here with me; we share so many memories of when I was growing up, being in her house, sharing fun adventures around the city, I love to hear her laugh remembering all the good moments. I also love sharing my stories with her, listening to her advise and making her happy for knowing that I am doing well. As every time we talk, she asked me about the Madonna, the ‘Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre’, patron of Cuba her native island, and as I always I respond that she is here with me, taking good care of me, as she did with her when she migrated form Cuba to Venezuela many years ago. This Madonna has been the most valuable piece of inheritance that I have ever received in my life, and the best part of it was that I did not have to wait until someone passed away to receive it, it was an inheritance of love and life. This Madonna represents many things for me, my family, my values, the love from all of them, my memories, I thank her every day for all that I have and for the lessons learned and as my Grandmother always requests, I light a candle to keep her illuminated. Many people might not understand why, but I really do not care, this is part of my family traditions and I treasure them very close to my heart.

While talking with my Grandmother I realized that even though she gave me one of her most beloved items, I saw how she has given me so much more. I felt like I inherited her sense of humor, her view for life and her youth at heart. I admire her for so many things and love her for who she is; her life and legacy are for me the best inheritance she should ever give me, and when God decides that it is her time to join my grandfather where ever it is they will be, I will always remember her with a big bright smile, laughing at our memories together and grateful for having enjoyed her in life.

Inheritance is that, the love, the lessons, the knowledge and the blessing to know that you enjoyed people near and far, and that you will always treasure them her in your heart.

Once again I will shout to the world in my blog: I love you Abuelita Maya! you are the example of life and love; thank you for making my mom as she is and thank you for being a part of my life and giving me the inheritance of your spirit. You two are my example and I am proud of being the woman you both showed me to be.

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The Ideal ‘One’


This is a question I am sure most people have asked you, and you might have even asked it to yourself in those moments of solitude; and if you have ever tried online dating, for sure you have at least answered the question: ‘what are you looking for in a partner?’. A partner, like anything else in life, is only ideal if it is the right ‘fit’, whether he looks like George Clooney’s twin brother or Megan Fox’s clone, at the end it is the non-tangible things that make your legs feel like jello and your heart burst with expectation.

This year I had the experience of online dating and after months of meeting people I realized that either people do not read, or they really have a theoretical ‘want’ and a practical ‘want’. A friend once told me that for him the issue was that women are always looking for the project-man, the one that has potential to turn out to be what you want him to be (a.k.a grow up and be that man) and men are looking for the woman that is who she is today and hope (or pray) that she will remain that way throughout the years; and that the relationship should be somewhere in that middle. But, after a failed marriage, some internet dates and a few boyfriends around my teens and 20’s, I believe more and more that at the end I just want something that sounds cliche, but that means much more than we even realize: Love.

The ideal ‘one’ for me loves me, and with this there is an open book of traits, adjectives and realities. With love comes respect, with respect comes understanding, with understanding comes harmony and with harmony the little annoying quirks just seem so small that there is no use in dealing with them, they just make the whole deal more fun. If that ‘one’ loves me, he knows how much I enjoy those little details that he has, and I just melt with how he cares for me, that even though I am all tough and independent, I love to feel the warm protective embrace of my partner. He will know that even though it is silly, I name my cars and cry at the same episodes of my favorite TV show. He will be there for me and hug me tight even when he does not understand why it hurts so much. He might not be ideal for the observing eyes, a prince or a heartthrob, but he will be my King and in my eyes not even George Clooney can beat him.

So, to know that ideal, you have to be honest with yourself, know what makes you melt and what makes you run. It is the only way to really give your heart and be happy, no matter what the world around you thinks. It is your heart, not theirs.

Stay tuned!

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Let go and live


A thought about letting go a sense of false security and realizing that what you want can only be achieved by letting go of that that does not exist

I want what I thought I had with you. I thought there was more than just an illusion and a memory, but at the end I saw it so clear, you where just an emotional security that kept me floating for all these years. I thought there was love, I dreamt with the hugs and the tender moments, kisses and lazy Sunday mornings. There is nothing, I was just holding on to a possibility and not living a reality. I cannot ask you for anything or blame you for that matter. I truly believe you think there was something as well, but your security was not in that feeling, it was in that real life that keeps you from dreaming and that makes you fall deep into the darkness of sadness. I thought it was fear that kept you from me, but I realized it was fear that kept me from reality. Beyond letting you go for your own serenity, I have to let you go and understand that there is no safety in this feeling because there cannot be safety in an empty space.  I did not fall, even though that was what I was most scared of, I am still here standing and allowing myself to fall in the arms of a feeling that might be or not, but it is real and it is happening with every passing second of my day. I have learned that locking up that emotion and conserving it like a treasure will only make me run faster from what I want and leave me with nothing. I want it, real, alive, palpable, bright. My security is the realization of my fear and letting go of what kept me from happiness all along.

I am free now…

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Crossroads


That point where you have to choose, left or right? ‘A’ or ‘B’? The decision can be about different aspects, but it is a choice. In this journey of life I have encountered a few, some which I am sure it was the way and other where I made my choice reluctant, but later on discovered I was happy with what I had chosen.  And now, there is a series of crossroads, that even though come one after the other, the first will define automatically where the others should go.

I am choosing at least to take first steps. I am open to exploring where each road can take me and I have decided to be as open for the surprises of life as possible. And most important, I am choosing the roads that will provide happiness, not that one that will be the most applauded.

Maple Papaya will be redesigned because writing is one of the things that makes me very happy. I one thought I was a writer for hobby, now I know that I am a writer, period. I breathe through my words and I have a need to express more and more and reach out to everyone by these words. My writing is a reflection of who I am, and the more I write, the more I also define myself.

There will be evolution, of this blog, of me. Thank you for being one of those who reads and lives, I promise that I will continue to do it and I hope you like the next steps.

MP 2.0… Stay tuned!

 

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