January 20, 2017

30

Born during a blizzard
Breached
Survived

Today I turn 30. I never thought I'd make it to today. Last night I looked back at old pics and videos (thanks Bochinche Boy), and thought about all the good and bad times I have had. All the fights and drama. How despite it all I continue to just laugh at things and keep on going. Did I feel sad, yea, I did. There are things I wish I can have or have done but who knows theres still time (I hope).

I'm 30 years old, jeez.



It's also David Bowie day...couldn't be more appropriate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSH--SJKVQQ

December 31, 2016

Reflections of 2016

And just like that we have reached New Year's Eve. Another year comes to close tonight with a drop of a ball, the popping of champagne and fireworks, and shots being served as we welcome 2017. But before I reflect on this past year, many apologies to my lack of posting. My own search for peace of mind took me away from my writing and into a new skill...painting.

Last New Years, I made a huge decision, to allow my demon to sit beside me, and I won't lie its been an interesting journey. Sometimes I wish I can just punch it in the face (would it technically be me punching myself?), and then there are other days where I allow it to console me. I have tapped into its power and instead of feeling cursed, I feel gifted. Fighting your inner self, is exhausting, and before, I would find myself conflicted and unleashing an anger that was more towards me than others. By becoming one with my demon I'm not fighting anyone anymore. I don't see myself going berserk on others, I'm handling situations differently, I'm thinking rationally now.

Now before you go, "wow Barbs, you finally calmed the fuck down", the anger is still there, I just find myself able to keep my emotions in check. There are days where I don't even want to look at myself, or look at anyone for that matter. There are days I struggle with my job, my relationships with people, my overall interactions in life. There are days where I sit quietly, music in the background and I stare at the wall like if something is going to just burst through. I'm still taunted by my demon and I still feel this insecurity that I will always be a savage. That despite how far along I have come, that savage is still inside me, but I have learned to accept that it is who I am, it is what I am, and by pushing that savagery into other things it has moved me to new things. New things that I found in 2016.

For starters, I officially have my Masters degree, something years ago I never thought I could do. My graduation was my victory. As I sat there in that auditorium I kept having to remind myself this is real, that I wasn't dreaming.

Second, I established an understanding of my connections with people. I know there are a few of you that I rarely speak to anymore, and it's nothing against you, it's that within my own search for peace I have disconnected myself from everyone. I allowed myself a fresh start to rebuild what it means to interact with people, and I have recreated these bonds, and feel that now they are stronger, well not with everyone, but this is not the place to share that. I know I'm developing a better understanding of people and I'm more open to the moments I share with them.

Third, I got over my fear of flying, by taking three trips this year. I visited old friends, met their children, had a chance to reminisce about my youth.  I visited Costa Rica, and blended in with the jungle. Sat by a stream in my bathing suit and allowed myself to absorb what nature had to offer. The beautiful scenery, the feel of mud on my body, letting it clean away the negativity that was plaguing me. These trips taught me about me, both good and bad moments. I came back to the states knowing what I wanted to do, leading to my fourth and last thing I want to bring up here with you.

As I write this post, with rollers in my hair, music playing, I stare out of a terrace door at the Christmas lights hanging off. Next to it a small tree surrounded by boxes of pop figures, a sleeping bag thrown on the floor, and a small table holding up a recently received Master's Degree, my own. I stare at the new acquired furniture, the pictures of those I care for, and as I write this I smile to myself. Tomorrow New Year's Day will make it one month that I moved out on my own. The surreality of it all hits me. This has been the one thing I wanted for so many years, and now I end 2016 in my own little apartment.

I know 2016 has been dreadful, the "Year of Death" as it's going to be known, but for me it pushed me to do things, to live, and I look forward to the journey 2017 will be. To search within what the universe has in store for me.

Happy New Year!


The following piece is called "I Love You... I Know"painted by me.



June 1, 2016

Commencement

Soo a few months ago I submitted for a contest to speak at my graduation...I wasn't picked but I'd figured I'd share it with all of you.
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            Good evening all respected faculty, family and friends. To the Class of 2016 a special welcome to all of you. Tonight’s Commencement means the end of our journey here at Hunter College, but it also means a beginning. We are commencing a new chapter, for some we have been educators working long days in our respected classrooms, for others they are just expanding their horizon, making calls, and waiting anxiously for that chance to do what their passions have brought them to. To teach.
            I don’t want to spend my time up here talking the cliché, of how we have worked hard to get here. We know that, what I want to touch upon is being in the moment. Taking in what is around you, everyone in this room, from our Professors, our families, our friends, and cohorts are all sharing this moment, this achievement, and for that you should give yourself a chance to really let it sink in.
            Learning to be in the moment was one of the first lessons I encountered when I began working in the classroom. I was college graduate, also from Hunter, I studied film and in my struggle to maintain stability in economic hard times, I found myself working at a Universal Pre-K as an assistant teacher. I ended up basically at the beginning, because it was the same school I attended at the age of 4. I found myself at full circle, sitting in a classroom working with the children and I realized I wanted these kids to have something better, and what was better than having a teacher, who came from their neighborhood, who attended this same school. I wanted to be the teacher who encouraged them, reminded that they can do so much if they just focused. And then I found myself in that moment, when I showed one of my students a picture of the sun, and watched how he couldn’t believe what he was seeing, he was surprised, he kept asking questions and wanting to see more. I found myself amazed by how he was absorbing the information, and me being able to put aside my own personal issues, I allowed myself to take in that moment. It was short but to the both of us it meant more. For him, his drawings changed and weren’t of your typical kid pic of a sun. No, he was channeling what he learned. For me, it established that I found where I needed to be.
            I won’t lie, I have cried, had doubts, been anxious, and yet also found myself feeling like I am achieving something amazing. I’m sure most of you can agree that some days are tough, and some days are exciting, but don’t forget who you are sharing those moments with. Everyday for six hours you share a space with young minds that look up to you, and are part of that everyday hustle and bustle we go through. Teaching isn’t a walk in the park, and by sitting here tonight at Commencement we know that this is only beginning of the journey that lies ahead of us.
            Tupac Shakur once said, “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change it.” That is what we should aim for. As educators, we should accept moments in our classroom, the triumphs and even the plans that don’t work out, but keep in mind with who you are working with. Allow them to enjoy their time at school, to face their challenges and know they have the ability to get through things. Guide them and experience those small moments that allow them to open their minds. Remember, the sun is more than just circle with triangles around it, it’s a big ball of energy that lights up the galaxy, and with those small simple moments in the classroom, they can learn to do the same.
            To the Class of 2016, I say take a deep breath, and enjoy what is happening right now. This moment you have earned it, so allow yourself to take in what it means to you and what it will mean later on in your future endeavors. It has been a pleasure to walk through these halls again with all of you, and I wish you all the very best and congratulations.
            Thank you.




April 28, 2016

Intermission

Something's come up,
I don't know what it means.
I just have a feeling things ain't gonna be easy.
They never are, so what makes it now so different.
Cause now I have the world watching me,
and I refuse to let em watch me fall.
Let me take this break to plan my next move.
Show you what this little pawn can do.






March 20, 2016

Solo Adventure

Lately I haven't been in the best of moods, not sleeping well, and having strange dreams, so today I decided to go on an adventure. Now just warning you this may sound like an Elite Daily article, but honestly I don't give a fuck.

Today I took myself out on a date, spend some time out, thought a museum would be a good time. Don't get me wrong, I did hit people up, but in the end I found myself on my own. And in my search of which museum to visit I found a trailer to a movie called "My Golden Days", and I was hooked. My trip to a museum turned into a movie day, and with that I showered and made my way to Manhattan. Got off the train, walked by the Anti-Trump rally, checked that out for a bit, thought about my old protest and rally days, and then made my way to Lincoln Center.

I got hungry, and went ahead an enjoyed a meal on my own. I felt strange, sitting by myself, drinking  a beer. Its strange when you're alone, you don't know where to look. I found myself looking at a woman also alone drinking coffee, an old couple in which the woman was using Siri to figure out how to get a movie review, and then there was the old woman with a young child. I assume that it was a grandmother spending the day with her grandchild, she was reading to her, and it reminded me of my relationship with my grandmother. It was one of those moments that made me glad that I have had good moments with someone who genuinely cares for me.

I enjoyed my meal and made my way to the movie theater. It was strange to be on the line alone. Once again no one to talk to, BUT getting a seat in where I like to sit in a movie theater was a breeze!! (note:I was probably the youngest person in that theater) I found a single seat in the back and center and made myself comfortable. It was there I had another moment where I overheard the man next to me tell a woman he was with (maybe his date? lol) that he graduated high school in 1945!!! He spoke of the draft and how the war was still going. There was a part of me that wanted to join in, just to know more, but I sat quietly next to him, listening to what I could and then the room went dark and the movie began.

"My Golden Days", told the story of a man thinking about three points of his youth, touching upon his childhood, his teenage years, and the girl he loved. It was basically your typical coming of age story, but I enjoyed it very much. It reminded me of my love for cinema, and being able to tell a story visually. I recommend that if you have a chance to see it, do it, so we can talk about it (especially about the ending, cause I have my issues with it there).

I don't want to lie, I felt sad being alone. I can't control if people say they busy, but it really sucks when people don't answer. When you know a lot of people it's not the same as having friends, and being able to get that in my head almost made me cry, but I didn't. I took today to give myself a chance to see how awesome I am. I took myself out on what I felt would be the ideal date, I got to explore, eat some good food, and saw a movie. I got to take a look at the world and observe the people that live in it. So my piece of advice I guess is allow yourself a day like that. Just go out on your own and make the best of it. I know I plan on going on more solo adventures, there's a sense of freedom and being able to get to know yourself. I know after today I am one step closer to figuring out how to love myself and I guess thats what matters.


February 25, 2016

Slow down


Been disoriented, overwhelmed with ideas and plans. My insecurities have a way of speaking to me, that I find myself answering back. Stuff I'm just not sure of, things I'm expected to do, what is it that I want? Thoughts just racing through my head, I almost forget where I'm standing. I have places to go, if I stop who knows how everything will crash. Then I look up. I see a yellow light before the sunset and it reminds me to just slow down. 

February 7, 2016

Saturdazed and Sunfused

Spend all week working and stressing, waiting for the weekend.
Go out have a few drinks, meet a few people, try not to get drunk.
Dance with strangers, lines for bathrooms, crowds at the bar, patience is tested. 
Don't know if I wanna be there or not, I'm just going through the motions and jam to whats playing. 
Get a little dazed out in my environment, its normal to forget things. 
Make sure to get home, don't spend the cab fare, that shot ain't needed.
See the sun come up, my favorite thing to do.
Go to sleep, wake up confused, go through my phone no evidence, fuck what did I do?
Nothing's wrong, bet guess I'll breathe out "phew".
I know in a few days, pics will be uploaded and I'll see if I come out in them.
I struck a few poses, there was nothing to it. 
I don't know if I want the party to end.
Listen to some oldies, songs I didn't hear the night before.
Start thinking about the things I wanna do.
Think about what to paint, and write.
Put my energy in something else.
Maybe next weekend will be different, try something new.
Think about the night before and those before it, 
yet in the end though, I put it all in retrospective, it was a good night after all, why not allow a part 2?