This week I have lived inside of my thoughts rather than in the moment; let’s deep dive into this dump of semi-dark-comedic thoughts.
Sometimes I feel like I am just a teenager navigating the social cues of life. Granted, I learned about responsibility, the importance of money and how to be a law-abiding citizen in this hemisphere; I remember -in a traumatizing way- that if you are late with payments, bank and bill collectors are intimidating as shit, and if you happen to live in the USA system, your credit score defines you as a human being within their borders. Simply put, do not fuck with your financial institutions and keep a good record of how you manage your money. Still, unfortunately, as I grew up learning those vital points, I always knew that financial stability was for those with a good plan, a heavy inheritance, or stable jobs that allowed them to earn, save and invest. That was not the case in my household.
With an upbringing in a single-mother home and business owner, you learn the definition of grinding your butt off until exhaustion. You get exposed to determination and work ethic, the lengths a mother would go to for her child(ren), and many significances that give anyone a golden star from those who value and are constantly aw of their achievements. The relentless outcome of that system of grinding and unnatural efforts can quickly drive anyone to exhaustion, stress and -my personal favourite- anger, a big appetite for anger not only toward an oppressive and misogynistic system but anger against the universe that surrounds us. But if you ask yourself or me, who lived in that universe surrounding my single mother? The simple answer was me.
I absorbed every ounce of anger; I became a stress ball, someone who was on the verge of panic attacks on the clock and vengeful. I had this expectation that I had to succeed, not only for myself but for others, the pride of such a tight upbringing that shines despite the thunderstorm that clashed with the thought of “I just want to be a simple kid”. I evolved into someone who needed to be number one, at the top, no matter what, and if I was not at the top, I was very much a failure. My mother celebrated me if I won something or got a perfect score during a test and chewed me up alive if it was the opposite of less than flawless. And fuck, of course, I wanted the praise, the gifts that would come with my wins. Success meant getting straight A’s, being the best, being intelligent, not getting involved with anyone who was not worthy of my company, looking consistently uptight and beautiful like a princess and suppressing your feelings and emotions because there was no time to discuss them. I had a younger sister, so I also had to help share those responsibilities until I moved out of the Island (Puerto Rico) to pursue my degree in the Mainland USA.
Mom, if you are reading this, I love you regardless. We all fuck-up one way or another, am I right?
When I moved out of my “safe place”, it was so fucking hard for me to understand the foolishness people would come up with. I was -WAS- a pious Christian girl with an enormous determination to make my mom proud of my achievements. Time passed, I made some shitty financial decisions, and I was so confused with myself, who I was as a person, and what I wanted for myself, and that still hunts me to this day. Not only am I paying for the financial terror that I had to compromise myself to stay afloat working at the minimum wage, but I lived in the shadows of the thought of what would make my mom proud?” Well, damn me thousand times. I am utterly pleased to have started going to therapy because I need it to run from that mentality and my ridiculous actions as a young adult living abroad. I was so angry all the time I would have adult tantrums and yell at people; I was not too fond of it when people would not praise me when I did something right, especially at work. How childish was that of me? Again, VERY VERY CONTENT of starting therapy and healing from living in the undergrounds of my past self.
Now, I am seeking and pressuring myself to live as my higher self.
Who is my higher self? I still do not know her, but hear me out; she does not live to please people. In an era where social media is King, and there is this generational division of what is cool and what is out-of-trend, and how feminist efforts are deemed in a bit of a negative light, it is hard for me to keep up, so I scroll endlessly to numb my confusion and enlighten myself about the question “Who are you and what you bring to the table?” Even when I write, I keep hundreds of tap opens in my brain dictating whether that would be adequate, or am I an outstanding feminist preaching the right words to the right audience? Fuckidoody-loo. I mean, fuck, it gets tricky when I am trying to define my self-agency when worldly expectations are unrealistic high, but it is not a matter of fitting in with everyone, just with the right community.
So am I addicted to that instant satisfaction of quieting my massive brain looking at raccoons, possums, and home remodelations, among other things? Yes, I am. It is a no-brainer that distracts you from answering the hard questions and living with yourself. Living in the moment is precious; some people enjoy outdoor activities, but I do not enjoy being in the sun (although I try).
Social media is not all that bad; I have learned so much about psychologists on the platform who offer coping mechanisms to help with mental illnesses like PTSD and depression, which I live with. BUUUT, but also, it takes so much time from me and the many projects that I want to accomplish. I have been trying to get more into reading or working with my other artistic brand Upside Burden. I know it is so sick of me, but I am trying to come up with solutions to get me out of it; could it be that I need to write and paint more? I practise yoga and meditation, but I find myself endlessly scrolling because nothing fulfils as quickly as social media does. That sounds so much like a first-world problem, but like any addiction, this is an escape from reality, and maybe the truth is that I could be escaping from it myself.