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Announcing…

All right everyone!  It’s about that time!  (Now those of you who know me, you may be used to this by now…but those of you who don’t…you may need to read up on some of my old posts to understand.)  Anyway, it’s time for me to announce my next adventure.  I know, I know…many of you think that I am planning to return to Cozumel to take up scuba diving again and biking on the beach.  But I’ve kind of reconsidered.

Well, I haven’t reconsidered leaving Puebla…sorry to my many friends and family here, but I’m still planning to leave Puebla.  But I need some place new and exciting to go to.  Some place where I might be able to see new people and places that I’ve never seen before…and what better place for me to do that than for me to move to a city of 21.2 million people?  I’m sure many of my friends here have already guessed my next destination will be Mexico City.  Yeah!

Now I also can imagine what many of my friends are thinking right now:  “How could you possibly want to live in Mexico City with all of those people?!?!”  Well, I’ll have you know that NYC actually has a larger population than Mexico City, after you include all 5 boroughs (Bklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island & the Bronx).  Crazy, right?  And I don’t plan to move to downtown Mexico City!  I have discovered two beautiful new-york-vs-mexico-city-rivalry-28333neighborhoods (both of which I plan to visit for a few days before I make this big move), where I believe I should be able to find a cute little place with a yard for me and my amazing dog.

But again, why Mexico City?  Because I’m just ready to start something new again!  I want to experience new things and have access to more culture.  I want to not only visit more museums but also have easy access to more concerts and shows and restaurants and streets and parks, and subways to get me to them!  I’m a city girl, so I certainly know how to take care of myself so I’m not worried there.  And I just want to be swallowed up by another big city.  I don’t want to “run into” people I know everywhere I go.  [Of course, nothing beats the story of a fellow teacher at the American School (in Puebla), who spent a weekend in Mexico City 3 years ago and randomly met a guy who lived down the hall from me in Cozumel!  (I mean, 21.2 million people…and what are the chances, right?!?!)]

Anyway…I want to wander and discover again and volunteer again and maybe take a class…and maybe just discover myself again.  I’ve decided against pursuing a romantic relationship for a while still…I have too many demons…and I get that it’s hard to compete 2with the voices in my head.  Instead, I want to meet more single, like-minded people like myself who also don’t feel as though a relationship is what would “complete” them.  Of course, that may be the reason for half my problems…I never felt as though a relationship was the answer to anything or the destination in my life.

I used to blame NYC for my being like that…always something else to do around the next corner…another hobby…another adventure…another guy.  But then I left NYC…6 1/2 yrs ago to be exact…yet I still have that itch.  I still have that curiosity that has yet to be satisfied.  Sure, scuba diving placated me for a while.  I must have gone diving over 1k times while in Cozumel…and it never got boring.  Everyday was like a new discovery…still diving the same reefs…but with them always feeling different…Palancar Caves will always be my favorite though!  Reading also has placated me.  I have discovered and read some amazing authors in the past 6 years!

But currently, I can not concentrate on anything!  I am obsessed with finding my next adventure and destination…my next place to call home.  And yes, maybe it will be the biggest mistake of my life!  (God knows many people thought that when I told them I was leaving my life in NYC to go to Cozumel to dive for 2 years.)  But maybe it will just be another new beginning that will lead me to some place else…or someone else.  Or maybe just a new me.  Maybe I will finally be able to shrug off my old baggage…really put it in my rear view mirror…except this time without me always checking to see if it’s still there.  Maybe in Mexico City I will be able to just start again…again…and maybe not.  I did recently read a book that did tell me how no matter where I go, I’ll always be there.  I MAS_NY_ROME_BERLIN_MEXICO1get that, believe me.  But my thing is not for me to change…I don’t want to change!  I’ve successfully discovered that I am the same person I was 20 years ago…and I’m just fine with that!  But I think I need to live in a bigger place…a place where it’s actually OK for me to be me.  And I’m hoping that Mexico City will be more of that place for me.

So Cheers!  Cheers timages (1)o all my friends who I miss dearly and who I have living all over the world now!  Cheers to those who doubted me all the way back to when we were still in high school and college as they looked at my carefree, commitment-less life…and maybe feared for me…maybe they envied me my courage to leap off that next cliff…or resented me for the same reason.  Maybe they feared that one day I might wake up and say, “Damn, what happened to my life??  Now I’m old and I’ve missed out on what everyone else had.”  No chance!!  While I do live by a code…and those of you who know me well and for a long time, may have thought my code was crazy and might leave me alone…to them I’d like to say that I’d rather be alone at this ripe old age of almost 42 than be with someone who does not stand for what I believe in or be friends with people who have broken my personal code of friendship.  Because what I believe in…down to the marrow in  my bones…is that the only thing we have to do in life…is LIVE!!!  LIVE your life to its fullest…take the leap…the dive…don’t be afraid!  Live everyday like it’s your last and do whatever it is that makes tumblr_m2rrenkopg1rrrz7co1_500YOU happy.  Because when we’re on our death beds…will you be saying, “I’m so glad I did that…” like me?  Or will you be forced to say, “If only I had done that…”?  You choose!  And remember…

Life is not for the faint of heart…life is for living!

Life is for the Living

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How do you love yourself?

I keep trying to understand myself.  I keep trying to understand why I’m having such difficulties moving on with my life after recently ending a 5 year relationship with a man who I had truly believed I was going to spend the rest of my life with.  And no one’s fault, I guess we just both just fell out of love with eachother…I guess it happens.

But how do I feel about that?  Do I truly feel as though I can seriously never care for another man again?  Why do I just keep coming up with reasons why things with that guy won’t work because… or with this guy because…?  Have I lost hope that I will ever find someone I could share my life with?

theskinnymirror-selfloveI just read an article about “self-love” and how until we learn how to love ourselves, then we can just never find someone who will love us.  I sit here and I think about what that must be like…to actually consider myself to be perfect or without fault.  I can’t imagine that…I mean I feel like after the many trials and tribulaions that have occurred in my life, that it must be some form of payback for something I did wrong.

And don’t get me wrong, I am able to admit to the faulty decisions I’ve made during my life, but just always blamed them on the bad information (or rather lack of knowledge) I had at the time.  But I do believe that I have learned from each of my mistakes so then why can’t I just fall into a relationship that works this time?

This same article also talks about how if you find yourself judging others…it’s because you are recognizing faults in others that you feel as though you possess as well…just to not as bad a degree as you see in other people.  Hmmmmm…that’s really interesting…because maybe that is one of my problems.  I recognize faults in other people when I should really be correcting my own.

I do feel as though I must be a terrible person and that’s why I’ve been left alone by most people in my life…though is it me who pushes them away?  I’ve always had problems asking people for help or company but rather have convinced myself that I just prefer to be alone anyway.  As a matter of fact, I’ve conditioned myself to be alone so well that I am sometimes afraid that if I was around other people, then I wouldn’t even know how to behave properly.

I look at my own life and see that there are so many areas that are lacking…putting aside the fact that I am not in an intimate relationship…and maybe I had been kidding myself for the last year or so that we were together…truly convincing myself that it was just a rough spot instead of the fact that it was the end of our relationship.  I almost feel as though I’ve turned myself into a recluse…saying to myself, “Well, if I had a car, I feel as though I would get out more…”  but then why don’t I have my own car yet?  Or I say, well I don’t have the right outfit to wear or maybe my Spanish is not sufficient enough anyway…so I should just stay home anyway.

UnknownI fill my life with distractions…I work all day for clients who can’t see me, but who rather just email or Skype me tasks they require I perform and then after work, I just fill the remainder of my days with trips to the gym or mindless TV programs so that I am never forced to really look in the mirror at who I’ve become during the past 5 yrs.  I know that I am no longer young enough to offer a man a family…and maybe that’s my biggest issue.

I don’t think that I ever understood that I was really never going to one day have a child…and that hole cannot be filled by a man who is only willing to take me to the movies or out to dinner each week…it’s just not enough and maybe that’s what about myself I can never love.  I just waited too long until suddenly it was no longer possible and until I can accept that about myself, that article is right, I will never love myself enough to allow a man into my life again.  I guess I just need to stop fighting that.

C’est la vie…

A holding pattern…

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I now feel as though my life has entered a holding pattern.  I feel as though my past life of living with my boyfriend and enjoying the times with his family are now over.  I have made mental plans to move back to Cozumel…where I began my life in Mexico…remembering how simple life was when I lived there.  And I don’t believe that what I am doing is “going back” but rather taking another path from where I began.

But if that does happen, the plan is not for it to happen for another 8 months…I want to live out my lease here where I currently am renting.  I want to save as much money as I can before I move again…it’s a big move and expensive move should I decide to make the drive.  Plus, I have a good friend who is still contracted to work in Mexico until the end of the year, who I’d feel I was deserting should I leave to move to Cozumel now.  In my opinion, all valid reasons for me to wait and not dive into making a seriously impulsive decision just because one life is ending and I feel as though my next one has to begin NOW!

Maturity…I think I had always known that it would include me growing patience.  As a young girl…at 17…I impulsively chose where I was going to attend college, certainly altering the shape and form of the rest of my life.  Who knows what my life would have turned into had I left Brooklyn at only 17 years of age.  What things I saw and witnessed during the next 10 years that maybe I would never have learned while living elsewhere.

I believe that my next move to Manhattan was well thought out and certainly where I belonged at that point in my life.  I attended Graduate school at night while working for a law firm during the day.  But when my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 6 years later, I moved back to Brooklyn so that I could be of more help and be closer to my mother…maybe another impulsive decision which did take me a while to work my way out of again, when I moved back into Manhattan. but never something I regretted having done.  Though who knows what I would have been spared had I never taken that time in Brooklyn again.

Now, 10 years later, I live in another country.  A beautiful country which initially only promised me 12 months of scuba diving per year.  But which has brought to me such amazing experiences that I don’t believe that I will ever return to the States, which are experiencing such political turmoil that I await the day when all my friends eventually choose to join me here.

You may be asking yourself, where is this holding pattern she keeps talking about?  I moved to Cozumel 6 years ago to dive…great diving island, small, with two pretty distinct populations…Mexicans and Americans.  I was young for the “American” crowd…they tended to be retired and living off of a small pension that kept them living well while in Cozumel, diving by day, drinking margaritas by night.  They did not tend to be employed at any of the local establishments…maybe some were doing some online trading, if my memory serves me right.  But they didn’t tend to mix with the locals.

That did find me in a curious place, as I decided to stay in Mexico and realized that there is NO MONEY in diving, I just simply went to the local Carlos n’ Charlie’s for a job.  No problem I don’t speak Spanish, I speak the language of the 40k tourists that get off those cruise ships everyday, so I was hired.  Three years later, my boyfriend, who is from Puebla, and I, moved to Puebla so we could live closer to his family.  And we did all that…we moved here…I began teaching in order to maintain my visa…and something happened that lead us to eventually split up.  I don’t want to blame myself…I don’t want to blame him…but it just didn’t work out.

Now, exactly 8 months later…I am still here.  I no longer feel as though I belong here…I guess for three years I allowed my “family” to let me feel as though I belonged…even though I really didn’t.  My mother-in-law was amazing when it came time for her to help me feel as though I was a part of something, instead of just a foreigner visiting from another part of the world who was just trying to “belong” to something or “fit in” somewhere.

Now I am without “family” and my friends back in NYC have gone on with their lives.  I have a few really good friends here and I made super good friends while in Cozumel…many of whom have also moved away and returned to their lives.  So, I am left asking myself, what is next for me?  Do I just go back to the lonely beaches I left behind in Cozumel to spend the next few years of my life until something else comes up for me?  Do I consider the relationship aspect of it all…how I just met a man who is very established here…is not a “diver” but rather a true professional who has the utmost respect for me and my “decisions”…not looking to rush into anything…maybe being smart about how impulsive Americans tend to be.  Not wanting to start something with a woman whom he doesn’t trust to not decide to return to the States (or Cozumel…though I don’t believe he would think that was my thought at the moment)…because Americans have a habit of just jumping ship when the running gets tough.  And if that is true, am I finally showing my weak side?  Am I giving up?

Challenge:  I believe a challenge is when you meet an obstacle and you figure out a way to overcome it, based on the knowledge you have at the time.  (Like when unemployment stopped paying me 6 years ago…and I got a job bartending at C&C’s.  Or when I learned that my mother-in-law did not speak English, so I taught myself enough Spanish so she and I could chat everyday over lunch.)  Maybe that’s just what I have met again…an obstacle that I need to figure out a way to overcome.

I recently read an interesting article about the 50 lessons we should all learn in life.  And while so many of them really screamed out to me, I think the best one was down at #45: “The best is yet to come.”  Though, of course, #35 was also pretty good, as well:  “Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.”  (A true mantra of my life.)

Today is Easter..many believe it to be the day of new beginnings…and I want to agree.  I refuse to just exist in a “holding pattern” between two lives…will I move back to the beach in 8 months?  I certainly can’t go back to the life I had 8 months ago…so let’s, as #16 so perfectly says, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”  I need to appreciate the present more…where I am, living in the mountains of Puebla, surrounded by 4 beautiful volcanoes, weather averaging about 65-70 degrees each day of the year.   Having this amazing job that allows me to work from home…in my cool apt. with my amazing toy poodle at my side.

And how about this great new guy…maybe I should give him the chance to show me another way to be…a different type of relationship that allows me to be loved just for me being me.  The other night, while dining with a friend, he sent me a voice text that shared a voice to be just happy to be in touch with me.  And I turned to my friend and asked, “Why is he so happy to hear from me?”  And she told me to just let him care for me…that’s what relationships are about.  So as #34 said, “God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do,” I will allow him, and God, to love me for being me, just because it is who they are, not because of me having to earn it.

And should none of it work out, then in 8 months…you can find me on the beach, my Plan B.  🙂

When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

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I do hate to start things off with a cliché but, well when the shoe fits…damn there’s another one…  In life, we move…and we move on.  Why do we move or why do things change?  Not necessarily because we want them to, but rather because they have to change.  Relationships grow old…stale and so we have to move on.  Unfortunately, I’m not only talking about the relationships you have with your spouses (or significant others, should you also have never been married), but I’m also talking about your friendships and acquaintances.  We all have different relationships in our lives that meet different requirements and which fulfill different needs.  We should all be so lucky to have a gym buddy…someone who helps motivate us to go to the gym, someone who supports our bettering ourselves…as well as those nights when you both choose to take a night off to get some frozen yogurt instead because it is the mental health you need to also care for.  We should also all be so lucky to have a friend who we can meet for coffee or a walk when we need to bounce ideas off of.  Someone who, like family, is always there when you need to chat about a bad hair day or a guy you just met or a shitty boss.  

But we also need to have a lot of acquaintances…people we can do things with, like go to see a movie with occasionally or someone to meet for dinner/lunch/drinks every few months.  This person normally shuffles in and out of your life as frequently as maybe 5 or 6 other such people.  They enjoy your company and you do theirs…they enjoy getting out with you, maybe discovering a new restaurant with you or with whom you can share a good bottle of red wine…something that always promotes some really good conversation.  I always smile when I think of these people because I remember what fun I had the last time I saw them or how much we laughed…the more wine we drank…or how much they support my crazy antics and how I just love sharing them with these friends just to help them laugh!

I have been forced to cut friends loose in the past…sometimes due to changed living circumstances and sometimes just because we lose touch…but that does not necessarily mean that I don’t still think of them and remember them with fondness.  But it’s not those people I am referring to here either.

‘Cause I gotta tell ya’…we all have another kind of friend…and don’t even try to deny it.  We all have friends we keep around because we feel we’re obligated to stay friends with them.  It may be because we’ve been friends with them for umpteen years or because our mothers were friends so it’s like we’re carrying on a legacy.  Or, at least for me, it could be because we don’t get them.  We can’t really understand them…why they do the things they do…what reasons they have for behaving the way they do.  And even if we get their scars…understand why they may be how they are, why does that still make it alright?  And should that give them carte blanche forever?!?!  When should they start having to answer up to their actions and what they say to, or against, other people?  

Or does it need to be that they do something against us, first?  Something that breaks all the “friendship” rules in our book before we can say to ourselves…”We’re done!”  We refuse to spend another minute of our precious free time doing things for them because we’ve realized that they wouldn’t do the same for us!”  

And it is these people who, to me, can also represent those doors that keep opening and closing in our lives.    Yes, many people use this cliché to refer to jobs passed or serious relationships.  Everyone needs closure before they can move on to a new job or husband or girlfriend.  But what about those friendships that were just digging a hole in our hearts for all those years which we ignored.  Friends we kept waiting to fulfill their end of the friendship game of tennis…and always fell short.  Friends who actually have made us feel as taken advantage of as many of us have felt during many of our love relationships, as well.  People who can only truly be happy for us when something good happens, so long as there’s something in it for them.  

Those are the friends I am talking about cutting loose…with a sledgehammer!  And I don’t know about you, but I’ve recently decided that my first priority needs to be about me and sometimes that means that I cut loose those who are sucking me dry in order for me to make room for a positive addition to my life…an addition who will only cause good things to happen to me without them thinking of themself first.  

So as the cliché says, “When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens”… slam those doors shut…every single one of them and be open for what comes next.  And if that means that you have to spend a night home alone every once in a while, so be it…you’re so much better off than when you fill your life with superficials just to satisfy the wrong need.  

What do you believe?

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7040000598_dHow to change my beliefs…  How to erase negative thoughts about myself…  What do I consider to be positive reinforcement?  What would be a reward for the decisions or the actions I’ve made or taken?  What would that look like?

They say that our beliefs are based on rules or examples set for us as children.  Well, if that’s true, then what about my childhood lead me to believe that being in a relationship/marriage with a child was the route that I needed to be on?  Why did I always believe that it had to be my ultimate goal when nothing about my life ever lead me in that direction?

happy-successful-woman-against-sunsetI’ve had long term relationships but as I entered them, it was not with the intention of my eventually being married to the guy.  But then something would happen…I would start thinking that was just the guy I’d be with forever.  Why?  Because I was completely devoted to him and he knew it and maybe had never felt so close to a woman before so it just made sense for both of us?  Then when the relationship goes bust, I feel all deserted and abandoned and alone and incapable of making my own decisions…deciding where I want to spend the rest of my life, where I want to travel to or even eat for dinner.  Incapable of remembering what my plan had been before I met the guy to begin with.  Or should I just be making a different plan?  What would that look like right now?

imagesWhen I compare the overall state of myself after the relationships to the state of myself before the relationships, I do consider myself to have been in better financial condition, maybe even with a stronger head on my shoulders…having just experienced a long-term relationship during which I matured and grew older during.   I look at the jobs I had after the relationships and compared them to the jobs I had before the relationships and consider myself to be a better earner who is more pleased with what I was doing to earn it, using my education more and challenging myself more mentally than I did before.

But why do I believe that now I am unworthy of being in another, long-term relationship, superior to the last ones?  Just like after the end of my last unsuccessful relationship?  Why do I believe that I am now “used goods”?  Leftovers that no one would want?  Since my ex didn’t want me, then why would someone else want me?  What in my childhood taught me that?  Was it just all the crap my brother used to flap about his immature teenage relationships that just stuck, since no adult ever gave me dating advice?  Or the fact that my mother always stayed instead of trying to find the man who gave her the attention and devotion she deserved?  Or even gave being single a try?!?!

I look around me at the women in my life who are in relationships (most married) and the number of them who are happy is very few.  They seem to make excuses for their spouses and maybe stay because there are children involved…one of the reasons why my mother always stayed, I believe.  So, in the end, I should feel bad for having kept that woman in a relationship that never satisfied her just because of me and my brother.  Sorry Mom!

Maybe, had she never been married, or had she never had children and so eventually left my father, she would have found that happiness she deserved.  My mother was not in her element.  In what way?  Well, she was just never on the same page or wavelength as those who surrounded her for so many years.  She kind of existed in her own reality of positivity and self-preservation in the most self-less way she could have.  She didn’t care what the neighbors thought of her and never tried to measure up to them.  She was always reading and filling her mind with stories of all types by some really great authors…ones I’ve picked up in the past 12 years and wished I had read while she was still alive so we could have chatted about those books.  Maybe that’s where my beliefs come from?

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_dm6exogeezkk4s8ws44ggsokc_640I am extremely positive (like my mother) and nothing thrilled me more than when I lived in NYC and was always the single (while always dating someone) free spirit who just did what came to mind at the moment.  Though it wasn’t enough…which was why I walked away from all of that to travel to Mexico to dive and where I met someone who had seemed to fill in all my empty spots…until now.  I believed that I didn’t need anything else so long as he and I were together…and now we’re not.  So now what?  Do I go back to where I came from to earn the money I used to earn and where I could just blend in with people more like me…single, free-spirits without a responsibility or care in the world?  Or do I stay here in Mexico where everyone is in a relationship and who treats me like there must be something wrong with me since I’m not?  Or is that just in my own “belief bubble” and is that the belief I need to change and stop allowing my imagination to run away with itself?  

Maybe I should give it till the end of 2017, see what happens here and within my own personal and professional life before I rush into any hasty decisions.  NYC will always be there for me and will always welcome me home with open arms…but before I go running back there, I still believe that I have some unfinished business here.

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