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The gringa had lived in the Colonia San Rafael neighborhood of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for over thirteen years, gringa being the local word for an American woman living in Mexico. The old Mexican man with a limp reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin's "Tramp" had lived in the neighborhood too, probably his entire life. The two passed each other many times walking down the hill, and every time the old man saw the woman, he said to her in English that one word that he apparently knew: "mo-nay." Time after time, the same word, "mo-nay." She grew annoyed with him, thinking, "Is that how he sees me? As only a source of money?" It isn't that she never gave to people in need -- she did, often generously, whatever she could. It's just that his one word was so constant and such a habit that it really got on her nerves. Not wanting to encourage him, she either ignored him or said, "No no tengo nada ahorita." “I don't have anything right now.” And walked on quickly. This went on literally for years. At times it almost seemed like a joke between them, him saying "Mo-nay" and she saying, "Nope, nada." And then one blinding hot day, the sunlight bouncing off of everything so much that your eyes hurt, he said something different. "Mo-nay. Hun-gray." She stopped and looked at him, as if for the first time. It had never occurred to her that perhaps he actually was hungry. She felt ashamed, and she took him over to the nearest tienda and asked him what he wanted to buy. His needs were simple: a bolillo--a small loaf of white bread--and a Coke. She bought them and gave him twenty pesos for a refresco later. And she asked his name. "Rubén," he said. "Mucho gusto, señor Rubén. Nice to meet you. Soy Frances," said she. After that, their relationship was different. He no longer was some needy old man, he was Rubén. Sometimes when he saw her, he still said, "Mo-nay" but it was different now that she knew his name and so if she had a few pesos with her, she gave them to him with a smile. And often, before leaving the house, she remembered to think of him and would grab a couple of coins in case she saw him. Sometimes, when he saw her, he didn't ask for money, but asked, in a neighborly way, "A dónde vas? Where are you going?" Or, "¿Acabas de volver del Centro? Did you just get back from town?" And she would talk to him for a few minutes. One day he was walking down the hill with his customary limp that spoke of hip problems, and she said, "¿Adónde va, señor Rubén?" "Where are you going?" And he said, "Estoy caminando para hacer ejercicio y conocer a mis amigos.” “I'm walking for exercise and to meet my friends." And she thought, "Wow, he knows he needs to move his body and he needs to socialize." She thought about this unexpected friendship that they had, and what a gift it was that his presence in her life had helped her shift her perspective from seeing him as someone who was needy to someone who was her neighbor, living life in his way, making the best of his circumstances, just as she was. She realized that he had caused her to confront her own unconscious bias. This was a big step, and she wanted to memorialize it by having a selfie with him. One day he was walking up the hill at the same time she was. "Would it be okay to take a photo with you, señor Rubén?" she asked him in Spanish. He said yes right away. Halfway up the hill, they stopped and looked at the camera. She was wearing her pandemic mask; he was maskless and wearing his battered hat. She stood a little back from him to try to keep "safe social distance." The birds were singing in the tree behind them and she felt happy for this moment. It felt to her like an achievement. There's still a long way to go; no doubt there are many more unconscious biases in my mind and heart. But I, the gringa in question, will always remember Rubén and the gift he brought me. The cost of a few bolillos and some Cokes is a very small price to pay.
Through the years, my sons teased me about my good posture and how, while they were growing, I wouldn't tolerate slouching. “Mom's fault,” I'd say with a smile. Although no genius, as my sons often point out, they are also just as quick to comment on how much I do know. They call me a walking encyclopedia of nonsensical trivia. Once again, I shrug and say, Mom's fault.” While my mom was never what was considered a strict disciplinarian, when it came to schoolwork, she was tough. I remember as soon as I could talk, she'd drill me every me every Saturday morning. Using two pages at a time of the dictionary, she would read each word, emphasizing on its pronunciation, encouraging me to try and spell it correctly. Back then, luckily, the dictionaries were small. Mom kept track of the words I misspelled in order for me to study them for the following Saturday. By the time I reached Kindergarten, I found it easy to read whole sentences. Soon, my “home education” expanded adding Math to my list of things to learn. After my spelling and reading lessons, Mom gave me wo sheets of paper with arithmetic problems to solve. Mom never confined her idea of teaching to just schoolwork. She believed in a healthy mind and healthy body. While I'd be pouring over homework, if Mom saw me slouching, she'd quietly walk behind me and gently t ouch my back. With one finger. Without one word spoken, I would immediately straighten to a more proper position. For about five minutes a day, three times each week, I would have to stand with my back against the wall. “Touch your heels to the wall. Now, your butt! Head up and back; shoulders back! Stomach in!” I know, I know. She sounded like a drill sergeant, but it kept my posture intact and my spine straight. Most of my friends learned to cook while their moms stood at their sides verbally instructing their every move. Mom's method differed completely. Handing me a recipe, she'd back away. Her reason was simple. Anyone can mimic; anyone can follow step-by-step instructions as each is given. It's more important to read and comprehend. As she often said, “Following a receipt teaches you to learn to follow any instructions.” However, she remained in the kitchen with me – just in case. Mom believed in teaching by example, not by using a bunch of words. Too often, my friends heard their moms say. “Do as I say, not as I do.” Never once did I hear that phrase from my mom. I also never heard the more familiar, “Because I said so.” Mom would often take me for long walks in the park, weather permitting. At times, we'd go for a train ride to the local zoo or museum. Once a month from June to September, mom and dad would pack a lunch and we would head to the nearby lake for a picnic. In addition to schoolwork, mom taught me to appreciate the beauty of a flower, the wonder of a rainbow, and the compassion needed for those less fortunate (like the WWII Veteran who sat legless on the street corner begging for a few cents to help him get by. Even tough money was tight, we never passed him by without Mom dropping a few cents in his little tin cup. She also taught me that although life is not perfect, we must strive for that goal and not be disappointed if we fail. Mom taught me the appreciation of demanding work. “After all,” she said, “the harder you work the more you appreciate the end result. If things came too easily, we would take those things for granted.” Yes, mom taught me many things: reading, spelling, love, and life. Now, here I am in my seventies. Mom passed away a number of years ago but even at my age, I am in good health. I still sit properly, and my back is straight. While I never went to college (as I said money was tight), my knowledge and education about what matters is exemplary. I am not afraid to tackle new projects and while I strive to succeed, I don't sulk if I fail. I just change my attitude and try again. My sons now, are grown with families of their own and emulate Mom's parenting as much as possible. I insisted on rearing my children the way Mom reared me, with compassion, understanding right from wrong, a thirst of knowledge, and fun in doing everything. I have been a good mother and teacher to my sons (they told me to say that), and I can see what wonderful husbands and fathers they are in every way (their wives tole me to say that!). Mom would be so proud of them. The reason for our successes in maintaining such happy homes, I feel is simple. It's Mom's Fault.
What is the Lesson? I have always looked for lessons in everything because I know there is one. Quarantine started on March 16, 2020, for most of us. Everything was closed, shut down, and put on pause. It felt like our world was shattering, and during this pandemic storm, a tornado formed with pieces of our life, creating a trail of sorrow in our path. It started with my grandfather becoming bed ridden after a stroke he had earlier in the year. He obtained a bad case of pneumonia and his health deteriorated drastically. During a safe visit with my grandparents, my daughter and her brother went outside to play tag. The driveway was slick and sent my daughter sliding fast where she landed on her knee and cut it to the bone. Despite the risks, I rushed her to the E.R. where she received 11 stitches. As the tornado of life slashed through without ease, I watched my family pull together despite feeling conflicted no matter which way we turned. We were terrified deep within because the world was in a state of emergency. But, we held onto what we knew, and that was the love of our family. The world can't take that away. So, we held onto each other and made the most of each day. Not long after, schools canceled for the remainder of the year, leaving all kids homeschooled. Since schools and social gatherings had been stopped, all of my daughter's dance competitions (already paid for) were canceled until further notice. As if the rain couldn't give us a little sunshine in our path, our dog of six years, Bailey, got into poison from somewhere in the neighborhood and the vet couldn't save her. We had to say good-bye. Then, one evening after dinner, we were entertaining who could jump the highest on our trampoline and I came straight down as my ankle rolled underneath my body weight. To this day I do not know if it was broken, sprained, or fractured. I never went to the Doctor. And to top it all off, on Easter, several real tornadoes hit all around us. We were extremely fortunate and lost power for four days and counted our blessings for that. Using a generator, we managed to save some food and use lights in the house as well as help our neighbors with power. The schoolwork was put on hold unless we used a hot spot from our cellular devices. Here I am two years later looking back on all of these things that happened but remembering the precious times with my children and loved ones. Times that I hope they remember too. It is during these times of trial that we find our strength by lifting others. I am grateful for each of these events because it instilled some of the most beautiful memories and lessons during one of the most terrifying times. None of us knew what was to come, but we took one day at a time and made it an adventure every day. Each one of the “fortunate events” led to something amazing. When my daughter was hurt, she couldn't have danced, so the competitions being canceled was a blessing in disguise. Because our lives were put on hold, we had gained the most precious time with my grandfather before he passed away peacefully over the summer. We can never get that time back and for those moments of life on hold, I am thankful. My ankle healed, like all things do with time. Though Bailey's death was an experience filled with sadness and sorrow, we were given more time with her, and I know she knew how much she was loved. Sharing emotions together is a beautiful experience. Homeschooling the kids was a challenge, and I know others out there can relate. I kept them on a schedule because I know how important that is. I also made sure to sit with them and give them my undivided attention, making that my priority. I heard them when they would tell me, “My teacher doesn't do it like that,” or “I don't want to do this!” Even when they asked me, “Why do I have to get up early? None of my friends do this.” I understood. Listen to me. I will never give up on you, children, and you cannot give up on yourself. Never be a victim of your circumstance. Taking Time Is Okay Some of the most beautiful memories are created during the hardest times, and sometimes, the depths of our sorrow can create a beautiful world of happiness.
A lot has changed since I wrote the post entitled "No Time to Write". Things fell apart with my old job, which was pretty stressful as you could imagine. But you know what they say? Sometimes things happen for a reason, so perhaps this was one of those times, or maybe I'm just a hopeless optimistic. Anyway, I started a new job just two weeks later. That meant I had two weeks of freedom. Open-ended freedom for me to basically do whatever the heck I wanted, despite the whole stress of searching for a new job and going through the whole interview process. As I had ironically complained about not having enough time, a plentitude of time was gracefully, well not so gracefully, given to me not long afterwards. At this point, I'm sure you're wondering what I did with my free time. Instead of writing, I used my time for making social plans and resting. As a matter of fact, as much as I hate to admit it, I ended up taking my free time a bit for granted. One day felt just like the next one, and there was no push each day to get up and get to work on any creative projects. It felt like I had all the time in the world. Since it was still summer, I took some long hikes in the sun, which absolutely rejuvenated my entire being. I also watched a lot of TV. I've been working full time again for almost 2 months now. After getting back into the rhythm of working, I miss freedom and regret that I didn't use the short time in between jobs to lean into my creative side that often gets neglected. I regret that I didn't wake up each morning, pour myself some coffee and immediately start grinding out creative project after project. Yet, maybe rest is exactly what I needed. A break from the urgency that time has placed on me. I wasn't thinking much about time and schedules, and it felt good. You could argue that there's always time if you make it. Maybe it's just self-discipline that's missing. For instance, some people say they have no time to read, yet these are the same people who spend at least two hours scrolling through social media every night before bed. I could always be more intentional with my time. However, it's okay to rest, and I think everyone needs this reminder. I think resting means not thinking about making time for things and just enjoying the present moment, whether that means taking a long walk or binge watching a TV series. If you needed the reminder that it's okay to rest sometimes, to not feel guilty about "wasting time", then here it is: it's okay. If you're going through a stressful time like I was, be gentle with yourself.
I combed my hair with my hand as it tried to cover my whole face then I realized that my hair has grown way too long. I have been stuck in the same place for more than three months while I can't complain since it's for the better. No one is allowed to go outside until everything comes fine. I've been lonely but not depressed. Am I the only one having this feeling right now? You know the answer and it's okay. Time has been so useless for me these days, and all I can distinguish is the difference between day and night. My fingers continued to linger through the keyboard as I feel the intense heat in our country. It is supposed to be our wet season, but summer is extending its period. Maybe the weather is helping us fight against our pandemic? The virus can't survive in hot temperatures, right? Maybe yes, maybe no because the number of cases in our country is still increasing. At the wall, the window appears lonely as it feels ignored. The school is quite near to our house and I was supposed to hear jeers of students going home. The busy street, the honks, and the beeps made by the tricycles make everything appear eerie. Those messy and loud sounds make me much more spirited in doing stuff. Who would have thought that someone will miss such noise? Moreover, I had finished my school requirements and already got the grades for the last semester. I can say that my grade and the situation right now have a thing in common- terrible. I am curious how they came up with those grades but I will just accept those since I was able to pass. For now, I doubt that the process of schooling will be decent. I sleep in the afternoons and stay at late evenings or even early mornings just to finish all these school works and other unnecessary things required. Internet connection has always been annoying in our country. Now, we have three things that share one characteristic. Whatever happens, I hope and do possible things to continue learning and make the best out of these things. Moreover, I have been doing a lot of things these days. I've been trying to cook. I boil eggs, noodles and fry hotdogs too. I have been trying to paint and still hoping for an improvement day by day. I read a book every early morning as I feel soothed when the cold air perches on my epidermis. The not so bright saturation of light made it more comfortable for my eyes to search every word. The aroma of the coffee will even make it better as I start my new undated time of my life. The next hours of my life come boring. I watch a lot of videos since I think it's a thing that I can indulge myself with something. I grab a chair and fix myself at an angle. I adjust my body every few minutes until I get comfortable with my sitting. I grab a snack whenever I feel hungry. Later, I can feel myself regretting because everything I ate is a junk. I watch documentaries and self- help videos too. Adulting is quite hard, but I hope that we will successfully handle it. At times, I tend to walk a few steps and think about everything. I wonder and comprehend about possible answers then I become curious about everything that comes on my mind. I quickly grab my phone to check my notifications. I scroll over my social media news feed as I try to read every headline of the post. Every news seems to be depressing and bewildering at the same time. The largest media company in our country has been shut down by decision with hints of politicization and doubt. The decision came out, but all we can do is to follow. Some people lost jobs, hope, and lives, wishing to give nothing but only the best for their families. The continuous cycle of life came to a pause. All became busy looking for other opportunities out there. How will you feel being in this pandemic situation and losing your professional job at the same time? I know, these intense emotions right now are great signs for a gem hidden for us to search in our lives. I feel bad sitting here while the other people thrive to survive. I feel thankful and guilty at the same time. May we do our best to help and pray for all people. These too shall pass. These things will help us. I know it is hard, but let us look at the brightest side of everything. Everything is so hard to explain right now, while other things come unexpectedly. This situation has brought us to a new level of perspective towards life, but we must be able to learn from it. Some people mourn while others try to celebrate at the same time. Some people cry while others try to catch their breath to survive. Some people laugh to make ease of the pain engraved in their hearts, and some people are still clueless about the next step to apply. I peeked out of the window, and I saw the clouds- a flying object without wings staying calm above the ground.
Everyday I try to get up and partake in some form of exercise to stay in shape and keep myself healthy. My favorite choice is a nice bike ride before the world is awake. When the sun is rising, I can feel the cool breeze run through my hair, hitting my face gently while listening to the song of the birds playing above. It is a peaceful time for me to rejuvenate and reflect on anything mind pressing. On this morning, my peace was disturbed when two dogs viciously ran after me out of nowhere, trying desperately to grab a leg or deter me from my destination. “What did you do?” My friend asked me while I told her this story later in the day, “Do you carry a stick or something with you to scare them away?” I laughed lightheartedly, and shook my head, “No. I just pedaled harder and faster, using that fear and intimidation as motivation to keep moving. Eventually they became tired and turned around and it helped me achieve a good workout!” We laughed and moved onto our next discussion. It wasn't until the next day that I realized that this same scenario applies to our everyday life. When we have a goal in mind that we are trying to reach, of course there will be negative people coming at us. Trying to knock us from our path, barking at our heels to cause intimidation. That could also be our own inner voice, unfortunately. Should we let that stop us? No, absolutely not. We keep our focus forward and use their discouragement as fuel to light our fire that burns from within to help us pedal harder and faster to reach our goal. Sometimes I need that reminder, and this time it came in the form of two dogs. Thank you for the chase!
Alice fiddled with the latch on her Coach key chain as she sat at her desk waiting for the phone to ring. Why she even bothered, was a whole other story. Of course no one was calling, it was 7 a.m. Everyone knew the corporate big wigs didn't roll out of their martini, steak and hooker fueled hangovers to lug their girth to work until at least 9 a.m. Plus, it was a Friday morning and everyone knew that Thursday nights were the new Saturdays. Still, she had to be there. She was the low girl on the totem pole in the sleek, shiny New Vision offices. Morning phone duty rotated once a month among the youngest assistants and even though she had some age on her colleagues, she was new at this job, having bounced around from temp agencies to sugar daddies throughout her twenties. Yawning loudly (because really, who was listening), she drained the last of her coffee. Last night was epic she thought, but having recently crested over the hill from 29 into 30 it was getting harder and harder to bounce back like she had in her younger years. Eyeing the empty coffee cup, her gaze wandered beyond her cubicle towards her manager's office and then down the hallway where the EVP of human resources enjoyed his pristine corner office digs. For once, she was not lusting after his river view. The break room was situated at the end of that hallway and she desperately craved another cup of coffee. Could she leave her post for no more than five minutes to brew some Green Mountain in the Keurig? It wasn't her grande-nonfat soy latte, but it would do the trick. Toying with the idea while absentmindedly twirling her frosted locks she attempted to distract herself from her exhaustion but it was too overwhelming. Glossing over the stacks of invoices waiting to be entered into a spreadsheet, she ignored the angel on her shoulder; that had morphed into the voice of her obnoxiously chipper millennial manager stressing just how important morning phone duty is. “The markets are open across the globe at all hours; it is pivotal that someone is there to field calls and direct any messages to the EVP as soon as possible...Your role, though small, keeps the company going…blah, blah, blah.” Looking at the devil and praying to the caffeine Gods she sprinted down the hallway. When she returned ten minutes later, having not anticipated a lack of non dairy milk products, she was already pondering her plans for that evening. It was only when she grabbed her phone to jump on Instagram that she noticed the red message light blinking aggressively on the master phone at her desk. She barely noticed as the coffee dripped over the invoices and down the edge of the table.
“Ayushi, could you wait back?” Mr. Bhati, our economics professor stops me from leaving the class for the period break. “We expect great things from you. Continue to work hard. I believe you can top the state and get the highest in economics this year.” ‘Sir, I will try my best.' I was the promise made eagerly, broken promptly. Dopamine, the pleasure hormone, is released not only after an achievement but also much earlier, in anticipation of it- A lesson I learned last week from Dr. Robert Sapolsky's lectures on neuroscience but one, my subconscious has always known. The reason this happens, Dr. Sapolsky explained, is that the dopamine release acts as a bait to encourage hard work towards success for more. I had chanced upon a shortcut- finding satisfaction in the multiple mini releases, never striving harder for better. I didn't last anywhere near the top. Instead, I was so nervous during the economics exams, I missed the last question. I wrote such elaborate first few answers that I felt short of time towards the end. ‘I knew everything but didn't keep track of time,' I repeat after being awarded the GMAT's penalty on not finishing a section. Twice. A stellar employee makes a major blunder in the second project she leads as an analyst. Yes, me. I crushed on my best friend for over four years, only to break up in a week fearful of the insecurities that started to pop up. He cares, he cares not. What if I start liking someone else? Will I be a cheat? Then and since, as I repetitively failed expectations, I also developed an acute phobia towards commitment. Almost chick, never chicken. Instead, the remains of an unfertilised piece of egg excreted monthly, promising potential, never promise! I didn't make it big. I didn't make it. Instead, I quit the job and made it back to my parent's house hoping to find something I was good at and happy to do. Two years and three jobs later, I am working with my sister to create a utilitarian art brand, still here, in my parent's house. We were starting to do well when COVID hit. Confused, scared with no clarity about the future. The extra hours and limited distractions struck at the rusting pendulum. Oscillating between the regrets of the past and ever-so dreadful ‘expectations' from the future, for once, I am struggling to gain a foothold in the present. Refreshing IG feed every hour no more transforms into an hourly wallow of self-pity looking at friends traveling or getting promoted. The world hit pause and now, most everyone is working from home, cooking, and reading. I fight temptation, delete IG to work, and work on myself. In those hours of uninterrupted introspection, I finally made the long-awaited tear-jerker of a ride 12 years back to when I was made to take accountancy, commerce, and Mr. Bhati's economics as my electives instead of biology, chemistry, and physics because father thought I wasn't dedicated enough to pursue medicine. I had not worked hard enough since. I don't know what contributed more to that prophecy. His words. My rebellion. Both. Sitting on the floor leaning on the wall closest to the router, I type a cover letter to what could have been an application to a med school until my ass hurts and my eyes burn. Desperate to compensate for the last decade, I spent the first few weeks of the lockdown learning to speak in French, cook, garden, write and invest. Days passed, became weeks. The initial enthusiasm started to wane because there was a lot of learning but as many results. I realized I was getting better at things I learned by doing like cooking, unlike those I learned passively about. I had to converse in French. I had to type, scribble, jot. Not just read books on it. Anything is easier read than done. Attempting to do everything, I wasn't doing anything well. I had to streamline my subjects. Call it greed, I chose to start with investing and designing. Impatient to recover all the past losses, I started out to make a few mistakes, costly ones but slowly I am learning to pick better quality companies. We are creating better designs for our art brand too, some that inspire for a happier present, others in the hope of a better future. Now, when someone asks me what I do for a living, I won't mumble that I am a Chartered Accountant and a CFA, distracting them with my academic qualification. As I think back to the still very empty bank account and the room I continue to inhabit in my parent's house, I now have hope. With every unrealized gain I make on the investments and with every positive feedback we get on our designs, I stand a little bit taller, my eyes smile a little bit wider. If tomorrow, I wake up to hear that quarantine has ended, I might not jump out of bed with excitement. After a long shower and a slow breakfast, when I step outside, it will be with equal amounts of hope and dread that the unknown brings. The world would have changed. I would have changed too. For the better.
I went to play golf with my husband today and he said something to me so profound that I woke from my sleep this evening to take note. My husband has been teaching me to play golf. I have been around the game for a while, however, I just gained the courage to take on this enlightening game for myself. Today when we went to play I did awesome on the first hole. I was amazed. I hit the driver and the ball went far and straight. I was so proud of myself I said “wow” and put both arms high in the air to celebrate. My husband looked at me and said good job. I said Thank you. My shoulders and confidence was high. I placed the driver back in my bag and then walked toward my ball with a smile. I picked the 5 from my bag. Proud that I knew what club to use and how to use it. I hit my ball and another great shot. The ball went straight and landed on the green and now it was time for me to putt. I stood behind the ball like he had taught me and then went for the shot. It was a little short but it was a good miss. I understood what I needed to change and was confident I could make the change. The next putt went in. I smiled all the way to the next hole. As I approached the next hole, I felt prepared but lacked some confidence with this hole. So instead of going with what I thought to do I asked my husband, my coach what club to use. He recommended the 5. It was the right club to use but deep down I wanted to use the driver. I was not yet hitting the ball the distance the club was capable of so I wanted to use a club that will hit longer. Even so, I followed his instructions and the ball didn't do what I wanted it to do. I turned to my husband and said, that is not the right club for this for me. We had some space and time before the next golfer was coming so I walked quickly to my bag and tried a different club. The ball still didn't do what I wanted it to do. So, I went back one more time and picked up the club I wanted to use originally. I hit another ball, this was my 3rd try. The ball still didn't do what I wanted it to do. I was frustrated, I blamed the club, I blame my husband. I had just come off of playing a great game the first hole and then this. I was upset at myself for not trusting my first pick. I walked back to my bag, put the club back and walked with my husband toward the green. He spoke words of truth to me in a kind and profound way. He said, clubs are like jobs. They are each designed to do a certain job. He told me I needed to learn how to get the club to its job based on the distance I needed to hit the ball. He said I could have used a different club but I would not be learning the full use of the right club. He said I quit the club without learning how to allow it to do its job. He said golf is a hard game, and I needed to be kind and patient with myself and with practice I would learn how to use each club. I listened and I clearly understood what he was saying. His statement made me think about how we are all designed to do a certain job or purpose. Yet oftentimes others don't recognize the gift or abilities in us because we don't yet understand it's full capability. It was me that missed the mark. I wanted to place blame instead of taking responsibility. I needed to get to know my club more in order for us to work in harmony and get the ball to do what it was designed to do. Yet, I choose to quit the club and say it wasn't the right one when it really was. Two of the clubs I used on the second hole had just performed for me perfectly on the previous hole when I operated it correctly. Yet, how soon, I forgot all it had done for me when the ball didn't do what I thought it should do on the next hole. When I placed blame on my husband and my club not only was I discounting my ability to improve with practice, I also discounted his wisdom because I had closed myself off from being teachable at that moment. This experience brought to mind a quote by Abraham Lincoln that says “I don't like that man, I must get to know him better”. For that moment I didn't like that club but in reality as I take time to know it better we will work in harmony to accomplish great things. How many times have we not liked someone and made a judgement call about their ability before getting to know them. We are all designed for a purpose and our purposes are connected. Therefore, we need to learn to get to know one another rather than deciding that we don't like one another. When we begin taking the time to get to know the one we once decided we don't like we may discover that they are wonderfully made. So don't conclude too quickly about what a thing or person is capable of. Instead, get to know them better. As we do, we will begin to recognize the greatest inside of them and inside of us.
Heartbreaks are just awful in general but my first heartbreak was where I lost everyone I loved. This heartbreak would teach me that even my own family will be the cause of my first and worst heartbreak. They would be the ones that I needed to be protected from. I was a bit naive and never dealt with anyone lying to me. At 16 years old, I lost my family which consists of my 4 girl cousins , my best friend Jenna , and my boyfriend Jose. My cousin Denise, who started doing drugs at the time, thought that she could blame it all on me. I heard she said things like I bossed her around and made her do all these horrible things like stealing cars, stealing money and I made her sneak out of the house all the time. I couldn't believe what was going on because first off I had no idea what the drug was at that point and I didn't even know she was doing drugs. But it would explain the pure evil I saw in her eyes. She couldn't stop lying and honestly I think after a while she believed her own lies.She kept the lies going with not even caring what this was doing to our family and most of all to me. My other 3 cousins never came and questioned me about it and just chose to forget me. With so many lies and gossip pointing the blame in my direction, they just assumed and believed her. They altogether stopped any contact with me for years. I'm talking about my group of girl cousins who I grew up with. They were there for every birthday, every holiday, every summer, and every weekend to hang out and have sleepovers. SInce we were babies, we have always been inseparable. Their parents stopped any contact with my parents. I was not expecting my cousin to ever do this to me. Next in line, I lost my best friend Jenna who went to school with me. My cousin met her through me and got her doing drugs as well. Once again my cousin and Jenna blamed everything on me so they could still hang out and get high together. In front of our parents, they told everyone that it was me with the drug problem. I broke down begging Jenna to come out with the truth. I was crying so hard that I couldn't even talk. I just remember looking at both these girls who I loved more than anything and saw they didn't even care. They showed no emotion whatsoever as I poured my heart out to them. I was even apologizing for their own mistakes. I was trying to crack one of them but they let me leave Jenna's house that night so heartbroken. I was just devastated. Luckily my parents at least believed me, but I still felt so defeated. Last person I lost was my boyfriend which was my first boyfriend that I ever loved and lost my virginity to. We had been going out for about 8 or 9 months and he broke up with me at the same time this whole drama thing is going on with my cousin and Jenna. I find out months later that he was sleeping with my cousin and doing drugs with her while we were still together. My cousin destroyed my life overnight and I knew I was never gonna be the same. After that, I didn't leave my bedroom and I stayed in bed. I felt pathetic and just worthless. It changed my whole personality and changed my whole life. I turned to drugs months later and I really didn't care what was being said after that. I was already known for being a drug addict. I was not responsible enough to make a good decision on how to deal with the pain. I only blame myself for that though. The pain wasn't my fault. That was out of my control. But the struggle was what I am to blame for. I let so many people affect me. I let them all hold the power to my happiness which wasn't healthy. I think it's safe to say I loved them too much. I learned that forgiving those who never apologized or even acknowledged what they did to me is one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It's been 17 years since this happened and I should be over it right? With this being my family that did this to me , I still see them on holidays and sometimes for birthdays. We act as if nothing had ever happened. I just know if we were to talk about it, the conversation will never gonna go the way I want it to go. I have to keep it bottled in and act like I don't think about it everyday. My cousin is sober now and actually did 5 or 6 years in prison. She has still, to this day, never admitted anything to me about anything. I feel like she totally took advantage of who I was. She knew I wasn't gonna snitch on her and she knew I wouldn't bring anything up and confront her about it. She played her game with all her lies and she knew I loved her so much that I wouldn't blow her cover. Maybe it's my fault I didn't object but my words meant nothing to anyone. You want to know the worst thing about pain? It's only yours. People won't understand your pain. Even the ones that have caused it may not even realize it. Other people will tell you to get over it and tell you to just move on. My cousin may be able to forget what she did to me but I will never be able to forget. More than anything, I wish I could.
"When you truly reflect on life, you come up with such creations. I like the way Adiela has weaved simple poetic stories out of the complex strings of life in which humans remain entangled. From social to soul exploration, all has been done and depicted neatly in this poetic beauty. As a poet, I especially relate to the poetry style that is made very understandable, yet churned out of an ocean's depth." - Ruchika Pahwa Available here: https://adielaakoo.wixsite.com/writer/shop
Aloof? Aloof you say? I'm so sorry if I made you feel that way. It's really not my intention, Though the reaction is of my own invention. You see, long ago I built a wall, A defence mechanism as I recall. So for me to draw close, is still very hard, After misplacing that important trust card. #AdielaAkoo Get Lost in a Quatrain here: https://adielaakoo.wixsite.com/writer/shop
Excited to announce that I have been invited to do a poetry reading at The Alan Paton Literary Festival, being hosted at Eden Lassie, in the beautiful Tala Valley 🙏🌹 Come and get Lost in a Quatrain with me on Saturday the 7th March 2020 from 15h00-15h30 I will be reading poetry from my book as well as some new, unpublished poems Love to see you there 💖 💖#AdielaAkoo