AND THEN...YOU BREATHE AGAIN
Why am I interested in the insanity of being sane? I’ve always asked. Why my eagerness to perfection while I hesitate to be perfect? Why can’t I quench my thirst for knowledge? Why do I now want to continue challenging myself, studying and learning? I realized that I'm hooked, that I'm in need that it's like a drug of which I can never have enough.
Think. Think. Could it be because I did not find an antidote while pursuing my previous Engineering and Journalism education and careers. All the while, I kept running into formulated equations where the results were always exact replicas of what deceived me to be originals, in the first place. And then, I look back at all those years, since I can remember, and speculate that if I only had a counselor by my side, at least I would have had some life riddles answered more speedily and didn’t have to wait to be in my forties and still, tormented, questioning so much, even though I had angels along the way.
Perhaps, I speculate, I hope, I know I can alleviate some of this for others who may feel like me? It’s my chance. I survived. I survived because along the way I encountered smart humans such as parents, mentors, professors, colleagues, husband, children, dear friends, and students (not necessarily in that order LOL) from whom I learned invaluable lessons. It’s my turn to give back, to offer a lending hand, and it’s not negotiable.
I am in my 40s, like I said, and still with lots of questions like I said, too; inundated with thoughts that drill my brain and penetrate my psyche every so often: Being confused about why a government and its obsessed followers (as if followers were not always obsessed) would treat decent families (like mine) with hatred and repudiation when all they wanted -we wanted- was to leave a country where freedoms were scarce, if at all in existence; seeing my grandfather die of sadness because the business he built with his bare hands, when he arrived from Spain to Cuba, was stolen from him by authorities; seeing my dad being expelled from the Education Department of the school system because he just wanted to teach English and Math and would not follow the fads of a party that went against his ideals; seeing a resilient mother going out to wipe windows, to clean porches, and to sweep the streets in a senseless effort to join the Federation of Communist Women, so they wouldn’t repudiate her daughter in school; fighting my own battles as an immigrant, as a teenager who was not comfortable here neither in her country, trying to fight the inner self making a colossal attempt to comprehend why I had to live here and there and in so many wheres, as my parents tried what they thought would be the best place to live, once (and finally) our land was abandoned; trying to understand why I lost my first child, why the world continued like nothing, why there wasn't an answer.
Any of the challenges I mentioned above can be translated into an interpersonal conflict. But I'd like, if I may, to use them all as one. I could write forever, describe an entire story in detail on how I tackled each conundrum in my life, but there is no need; because, although the situations were different, the approach to life I chose has always been the same.
It's a process; you know. You're happy, randomly or purposely going through the days, and then, boom! You get a shocking experience that leaves you frozen in time. You shake the hurt, dodging thorns that randomly fall from the sky; you hide, you cry, you stop. Then, you realize that you learn and life goes on. When it happens again, you're prepared, you know what to do, you have already grown a thick skin. And then you smile and feel triumphant .... and wait for the next beautiful battle.
After years of this fable, you realize you are strategically placed in a line. You look in front and there are many others laughing and enjoying whatever; but the interesting part is when you turn around and take a quick look behind you. It is, then, when you recognize that you are in a good place. That your thorns, are soft petals, your tears strength; your hurt, experiences.
And then, you breathe again.