I know. The title of this blog is very clichè, I am having a clichè week people, bare with me. Before moving back to California, I moved to Florida post-grad. I moved to Miami, the city where beautiful South Americans walk around where nothing but booze, sunshine, and sandy beaches matter. I thought that by me moving there, it would be like a dream; I had a studio on collins avenue and bike rides to the beach were my norm.
I was 22-years-old, excited for change. I move there alone, no friends, no associates. I had to, being a grown woman, go out and explore and make new friends and let me be the first to say, it is so embarrassing trying to make friends passed the age of 17-years old. The people that I met and grew a relationship with, turned out to not be true friends at all. I went through heart break and depression. Being an adult sucked ass so far, but I was determined to find my own way.
In my experience living in Miami, I was a flight attendant for two years. I traveled the world and endured a lot of criticism and most of the time, racism. I could not understand why people were so quick to be cruel, so quick to judge me for the color of my skin or the ways of my character. I began to sink deeper in depression, often times crying myself to sleep (worst headache ever!) or getting so trashed with hard liquor that I could not remember why I was sad in the first place (okay, no! that was the worst headache ever!). I was not living any longer, I was simply existing. In retrospect, I suppose this is when my anxiety first began, although I did not recognize it as such back then.
But, Lala being Lala, I stayed in Miami and hoped that people would see me for who I was, I prayed that I can be happy in a place where I did not belong, I longed for love from other people when I could give a rats ass about my own happiness. I was simply put, desperate. Ladies and some gentlemen, you know when your in a relationship that sucks but you want the other person to love and like you so badly that you stay in it despite being down-right miserable? This was like a relationship for me, I had something to prove. Prove to who? I do not know, it may have been my family or myself or my pet turtle. Who knows! What I did know is that I was weak, I was fragile, I was scared, I put on a game face in front of people, but I was tormented behind close doors. I did not understand why I was making the decision that I was making, I did not understand why I stayed when I should have quit my job and caught the next plane smoking. It was something bigger happening to me that I could not grasp.
One year and 6 months into living in Miami, I got laid off from the airline that I was working at. I was devastated! I was outraged! I had failed and although I was miserable; losing was not an option. So, as any battered woman or man would do, I stayed in the “relationship,” and I tried to turn things around. It was not until I went through a complete meltdown to a point where my family began to worry about my well-being that whatever it is I did not understand, got me. I got up, got all my shit, and I left. Oh, but I was still crying. I was crying the entire plane ride back to California and yet, I still couldn’t tell if I was crying because I was sad or if I was crying because I finally got the hell out of that city.
“She looked back on her life and realized that everything that has happened, only made her stronger.” -A girl who has lived.
Six years later, I understand why I, unbeknownst to me, went through what I went through. I am stronger in that I am able to love myself enough to not take any shit from anyone. I am not eager to get people to like me or see me for anyone else than who I really am. When I do not like something, or a place, or a thing- I remove myself. If I am having a day, and boy do I have some damn days, I do not force myself through them; I ask for help. I call my therapist. I try to turn my bad day around on my own terms. I do all this without thinking about what I went through. I do it naturally. It is second nature to me.
What I went through, allows me to fight through the downs. What I went through allows me to face my fears. What I went through enables me to fall, slip, scrap myself and try again.
#whatdoesntkillyoumakesyourstronger #illsipaglassofwinetothat #strengthhappensevenwhenwedonotrecognizeit