End of the World

I’ve avoided yesterday and today’s writing challenges due to my uncanny habit of hating the end of things, as weird as that sounds. Better late than never I suppose.

If there is any lesson this writing challenge has reinforced in me, it is that writing simply cannot be forced.

Day 29- Your aspirations, in great detail

I aspire to be extraordinary. We had a discussion in English many months ago on what we believed “being extraordinary” meant, and for some reason, this particular discussion has stuck with me. I don’t merely want to be anyone else’s sort of extraordinary, I want to be my own kind of extraordinary. I want to be laying on my death bed, looking back on my life, and feeling content and satisfied knowing that I lived my life to its fullest potential, stuck through the difficult days, and lived a life worth being proud of. 

Honestly, I want to change people’s lives. My biggest dream, one I didn’t know I even had until recently, is to be a source of inspiration. I want people to look up to me and I want to help people.

I thought about being a psychologist for a while, but really, I just want to change how psychologists in today’s world work. I don’t find sitting in an office on a couch crying to a stranger who is being paid to listen to your problems is an effective treatment method. I want to change people’s lives by helping them express their feelings, find reasons for their feelings, and find solutions to their problems- much like a psychologist does- but in a different setting and different atmosphere.

I aspire to be extraordinary in my own way.

 

Day 30- One last moment, in great detail

My Quinceanera. I was doing the ceremony of the 15 candles; for those of you who don’t know, a common tradition during Quinceaneras is for the birthday girl to hand out 15 candles to the people in her life who have helped her through life and have helped her, in essence, become a “woman”. 

My grandpa didn’t make it to my Quinceanera. He passed away seven months short of my special day and his absence is an ache I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life. I had plans of dancing with him during my party, even dreamed of having him walk me down the aisle on my wedding day, since he was more of a father to me than my actual father ever was or could ever dream of being. These dreams were crushed, along with all of the excitement I had building up for my party, but I of course still trudged along.

I made sure my grandma’s candle was the last to be handed. I originally was going to say a small speech for each person who was receiving a candle, but decided last minute I would only do a speech for my grandma, make it extra special. 

I practiced my speech for two weeks before my party, mostly trying to get through it without crying so as to avoid ruining my makeup the day of my party. All of my efforts failed miserably because as soon as I walked to where my grandma was sitting, I began crying.

I am so eternally grateful I had that opportunity to tell my grandma just how much she and my grandpa meant to me. I actually told her I’d never find the words to accurately express how much they mean to me. I am also grateful I had that chance to tell her I love her; that is still my biggest regret, that I never told my grandpa how much I love him. I wasn’t about to make the same mistake with my grandma. I started crying in front of all 82 guests at my party, and I don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about it one bit. 

That moment, holding my grandma’s hand, telling her how grateful I was for her and my grandpa, speaking about my grandpa in present tense, knowing that she understood that I miss him just as much as she does, is a moment I will never let go.

My grandparents were married for 64 years. They were married in Venezuela when my grandma was 19 years old. My grandpa taught her everything she knows. He was by her side through five pregnancies and births, through raising eighteen grandchildren, through starvation, poverty, and a move from one continent to the next. My grandparents marriage was the embodiment of “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part”, except for the fact that my grandma still wears her wedding ring, still visits the cemetery, and still talks as though he can hear her, a year and four months after his death, so death really hasn’t done much to part them. I know for a fact my grandpa is waiting at the Heavenly Gates for my grandma, he isn’t about to go into Heaven without her. It just wouldn’t be Heaven to him without her.

Keepsake

Day 28- Something you miss, in great detail

I know it says something, but honestly there isn’t a thing in the world I miss more than my grandpa. I think of him every single day without fail. 

I miss his calm, reassuring and easy-going manner. I miss how comfortable his presence was. I miss the love that seemed to overflow out of him. He always had so much love to give, the kind of love that restores a person’s faith in humanity. My grandpa’s family was his universe, and I was the center of his galaxy alongside my grandma. No one else in my family gave me as much attention or affection as he did, and I doubt anyone ever will. 

Words cannot describe the kind of person my grandpa was. He was a man of so few words- honestly, I barely remember what his voice sounds like not because of how long it’s been since he passed, but because he rarely ever spoke- but words did no justice to describe the emotions he felt.

My grandpa was a trooper, my role-model. When my mother’s side still lived in Venezuela, my grandpa would travel 2 hours every night to his mother’s home to get food for his family, and 2 hours back home to deliver the food. He would often times go hungry in order to provide food to his children. When they came to America, he did any job that was offered to him. He became skilled in carpentry and mechanics, and worked as long as his age allowed him to. He was also a very sick man. He had anemia, as well as iron-deficiency. He suffered through two strokes in six years, but he remained intelligent and clear of mind through it all. Hell, he was who managed the bills and payments for my grandparents’ home. He went out with a bang, literally. 

All I have left of my grandpa is one of his old handkerchiefs, which miraculously still smells like him, and the last medicine bottle half-filled with coins he was going to give me but never got to.

If I had to choose between seeing my grandpa again for one day, or being completely one hundred percent cured of my diabetes and other health complications for the rest of my life, I’d choose my grandpa with no ounce of hesitation whatsoever.

Beach Community

Day 27- Your favorite place, in great detail

This was really a toss-up between my bedroom and school, and believe it or not, my school won.
As much as I love my room, the privacy I have when I lock myself in it surrounded by my books and a computer, I think I am a better and healthier me at school.
I love being at school because I really enjoy being productive. I realize that there’s always something that needs to be done and I despise sitting and doing nothing but watch bad TV, which is basically all I do at home.
I also enjoy that I am never alone. I may at times feel lonely, but I am never really alone at school. At times, if course, this irritates me to no extent, but I am grateful for the break of the emptiness I feel at home.

Repeating Apologies

I think I’ve finally figured out the pattern. The people who I am attracted to and who, for the most part, are attracted to me (but to whom I don’t return their feelings) are people whom I am afraid of in one way or another.

It can be something as simple as I am wrecked by anxiety due to their touchiness. Or it can be something as deep and complex as my repeated “No’s” being completely disregarded and having that person do as they like with my body and not being able to find the voice to call for help. In one way or another, I am scared of that person and it is because I am scared of them that I cling to them so tightly and I find it so close to impossible to let them go. 

I guess my “perfect person” is going to be the person who I am not scared of. I don’t want to be scared of the person I am in love with.

All I Really Wanted (Was to Not Be Scared)

Day 26- Your fears, in great detail

Goodness, where do I begin. 

I’m fearful that I will never be enough for anyone; more importantly, that I will never be enough for myself. This is probably my biggest fear. I basically center my days around trying to be a person whom everyone wants me to be, I rarely ever do anything for the sake of it being something I enjoy doing. I worry that I will never live up to anyone’s expectations and I will always fall short. 

I’m fearful that I will be diabetic for the rest of my life. I can’t imagine being 50 years old and looking for a finger or toe to prick, looking for an area of skin where I can inject and have the insulin actually be absorbed, not having any feeling whatsoever in my fingers or toes- I barely have any feeling in my fingertips as it is. It’s only going to get worse, and I’m scared of how much worse it will truly become.

I’m fearful that I will never find my perfect someone. First, I believed I was heterosexual because that’s what I was raised as. I was raised under the belief that men liked women and women liked men. Over the past couple of years, I realized that this wasn’t the case, at least not for me. I then believed, and still continue to believe, that I was homosexual. However; every now and then I realize that although I only ever see myself having any sexual encounters with another woman, (probably due to how traumatic my last relationship was, sexually), I would not mind being in a, per se, “romantic” relationship with a man. I consider myself to be an incredible open-minded person, and I refuse to not hold out a relationship with someone whom I feel a connection with simply because of their genitalia. I’m just terrified that it is because of this indecisiveness that I will never be able to settle down with someone, or that I will never find that person whom I feel comfortable committing the rest of my life to. I’m also terrified that I will never find someone who will commit their lives to me.

My biggest fear is, as with so many people, the future. The unknown intrigues me, and the future is a mystery; however, I wouldn’t mind knowing if I’m going to be a 75 year-old lesbian living with a bunch of cats, or if I’m going to be 75 living with my “other-half” having lived a life worth being proud of.

Quiet the Longing

Day 25- A first, in great detail

My first time at diabetes camp. God, that was the first time in my life I ever felt normal. All of the campers were diabetic, hence diabetes camp. Some of the counselors were diabetic as well, though not all. Everything at the camp centered around us campers and our disease, but in a weird way, the people at the camp who were not diabetic were considered the “weird ones”. 

I was normal. I wasn’t healthy, I wasn’t in a good mental state, but for the fist time in my shitty existence, I was normal. 

I have been craving that feeling ever since I left the camp. I wasn’t looked down upon for having a disease I couldn’t control. I wasn’t made fun of for being different. I was just another little kid, running around at the park, and feeling the joys of fresh air and life.

I was normal. And now I’m not. 

I was normal.

Pages Written on a Wall

Time to play catch up on my 30 day writing challenge and write the posts I couldn’t while I was out of town. This should be fun.

Day 21- Another moment, in great detail

The moment I realized my grandfather had passed away. It all happened more quickly than anyone in my family could even keep up with. One Thursday, my mom called to say she had taken him to the hospital because he wasn’t capable of speaking; I thought he’d just had another stroke, he’d already had 2 by then. I said to myself, he’ll be okay, he’s always okay. My grandpa somehow always found a way to come back from the brink of death; except for this time.

He lasted a week in the hospital. He actually had a brain hemorrhage on both sides of his brain which needed operating, but operation was practically impossible at his age of 92 years. Towards the end of his stay in the hospital, he began having seizures every ten minutes or so. I offered to stay the night in the hospital with him and my grandmother that Sunday night, seeing as the rest of my family needed to go to work the next day, but another of my older cousins who is a stay-home mom took my place instead; this was before I knew he was having the seizures. My dad says they chose her because no one wanted me to see my grandfather as he was that night when the seizures were especially bad and nurses were rushing in and out of the room all night. I was my grandfather’s little girl, the last of his grandchildren who he raised. I had an extra-special place in his heart and him in mine.

The last Thursday, I got to the hospital later than usual that evening with my brother. They had taken my grandfather to the ICU. When I walked into the room, he was no longer connected to any machines, all of the machines were turned off. I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to figure out if my grandfather was still breathing or not. I kept imagining he was, I kept thinking he was getting better and that was why he was not connected to any machines. My entire family, all four aunts and one uncle, all 18 grandchildren, my grandmother, all of the in-laws, everyone was crying hysterically. I was the only person in the room who was not crying simply because I was entirely incapable of grasping the fact that my grandfather, the man who raised me, the man who loved me unconditionally and whole-heartedly, was dead. 

That moment, of looking down on his pale face and closed eyes, has been ingrained into my brain. I see that image every day. It never goes away.

Day 22- Something that upsets you, in great detail

I become upset when people suggest storing my books in boxes or doing something with them in order to clear up space in my room. I currently have three 3-shelved bookcases and one 5-shelved bookcase, holding altogether about 300 books, with another approximately 60 books making their home on my night-table for lack of bookshelf space. People don’t understand what I mean when I tell them that my books are my children. Reading has gotten me through some of the most difficult years of my life. They have been better therapy than any psychologist has ever been. My books get me through the anxiety-filled nights, and they also serve as a form of entertainment, seeing as I do not have a television in my room. My books aren’t simply my children; they are one of my only sources of happiness. I never see myself as being able to stuff any of my books, not even the ones I do not particularly care for, into a box, unless it is when I am moving out. 

Day 23- Something that makes you feel better, in great detail

Drawing, painting, sketching, working with oil pastels or markers. Art fills me with this inexplicable joy and happiness that seems to radiate from the center of my heart. Drawing is one of the key things I do when I am suffering from an anxiety attack. I’ve noticed it really helps for my anxiety to calm down much more quickly than reading does; however, reading keeps my anxiety at bay for much longer, so I try to do both, tag-team my anxiety. There are very, very few things that make me happy and drawing just so happens to be one of them.

Day 24 (today)- Something that makes you cry, in great detail

My diabetes and my grandfather. They are my Achille’s heels, my greatest weaknesses. Make fun of me all you want, attempt to destroy me by attacking my personality and traits, you will never succeed. However, as soon as you attack my diabetes or even so much as bring up my grandfather, I will crumble. I will be reduced to water and salt and nothing will bring me back from that point. I will be destroyed. Nothing gets to me as quickly or as severely as my diabetes and my grandfather do. Don’t bring up either topic, unless I do first, in which case I am bringing it up because I desperately need to talk about it, I need to vent, I need to let go of a bit of the weight that crushes me every day. Otherwise, do not bring either topic up. Pretend neither of those topics exist. They do not exist.

Writing this to say I’m going to have to pause my writing challenge until Sunday as I will be going out of town later this evening and will be unable to update my blog, disregard the fact that I am currently having the absolute worst anxiety attack I have ever endured in my five years of dealing with anxiety issues. 

I Can Barely Breathe.

Day 20- This month, in great detail

This month has definitely been interesting. I finished my freshman year of high school, which was bittersweet, but I am so enthusiastic and eager for my sophomore year. I’m positive that great things are coming my way and I’m impatient for them to get here. 

I’ve strengthened my relationship with some people who I never saw myself even being friends with. I think I am starting to open up slowly, I am beginning to bloom, and sooner than I will ever expect, I think I will have blossomed into a nice flower. I want to talk to these people more, mostly because they have me mystified at the fact that they were able to read me and assess me and take me apart in ten minutes more thoroughly than my pillars have in the 9-10 months that I have known them. I’m worried that I may be more of an open book than I ever realized, and I think talking more with these people will help me figure that out better.

The past two weeks I have spent going back to my school and working on setting up and bringing back the TV studio and program. Words cannot describe how excited I am for the chance to go on TV in front of my school and really make- however unimportant- a name for myself. Film has always been my biggest interest ever since I was a young girl watching old Spanish movies with my grandpa, and this has really been bringing that passion back with a vengeance. I am incredibly nervous at the same time to go on TV in front of such a large group of people, but I know myself, and I know this is going to be one of those situations that fill me with an incredibly addictive adrenaline rush and however nervous I may be before a show, I know I’m going to love it, and I know I will be so incredibly eager for my next chance to go back on TV. 

I’ve also spent a lot of this month reading, which I really love. I hand’t realized how restricted I had caused my thinking processes to have become by not feeding my mind with words. In these two weeks that I’ve been out of school and I’ve had more time to read, I’ve already felt my mind open and become hungry for thought and knowledge and, even though this is often accompanied by a deep melancholy feeling, I am eager to continue attacking the mounds of books I have waiting for me in my bookshelves.

This month has been lacking in communication with my father. We have not spoken in close to two weeks. 

I started stretching my ears. I swapped my black nail varnish for a sea foam green. I bought a ‘black cherry’ lipstick which is my new obsession, it brings out my inner vampire. My diabetes has been basically uncontrollable. My asthma has also been becoming much worse, simple things like standing in the shower putting on soap have left me unable to breathe. I’ve also felt my would-be significant other slip away from me, which has caused this horrible pain in the center of my chest that never really goes away. I don’t know if she’s playing dumb (which if she is, I may as well start crying now) or if she genuinely does not know/understand my feelings for her.

It is moments, like right now for example, where I feel a terrible void where my heart should be and I feel as though someone has punched me in the stomach and the air has forgotten how to reach my lungs. I am getting eerily close to suicide once again, despite all of the good that has happened this month. I feel like it has all come with a grain of salt.

This month has been good, but it could always be better.

The Sickness Unto Death

Day 19- Something you regret, in great detail

I regret being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It’s a silly thing to regret at this point, one because obviously, it wasn’t my fault that I was diagnosed with the disease. I was only a year old when I became infected with the virus that would wind up killing my pancreas, there was nothing I or anyone else could have done to have avoided it. It’s also silly considering I’ve been living with the disease for almost 14 years of my life and should be, for the most part, used to it by now. I just refuse to believe this is something that anyone is capable of becoming used to. How do you accept that your body is slowly dying, and even your best efforts are futile in trying to salvage your health? It is also silly to believe anyone would want to be diagnosed with this or any disease, but I still regret it. 

I regret all of the pain this has caused all of my loved ones. I regret all of the pain- both physical and mental- this has caused me. I regret that all I’ve ever allowed myself to be is my disease. My disease is me and I am my disease. I have never allowed myself to try and be more than my disease, simply because of how difficult it is to try and be something more. My diabetes is there with every turn of my head. When I wake up in the morning, my diabetes is there. When I go to sleep at night, my disease is there. In a weird way, my disease is my constant. My disease has been with me through my highs and lows. It has been the cause of a great majority of my lows. 

I don’t think people realize how taxing this disease really is. I have so much more on my plate than the average person my age does. I didn’t have a childhood because of my disease; I was forced (not so much by my disease, but by my parents because of my disease) to mature quickly and be a responsible individual who had to know how to not rely on anyone else to take care of them. It is because of my disease that I have difficulty trusting people. 

My disease has also caused me to hate myself. I really, evolutionarily speaking, should not be alive, breathing, writing this, right now. I should have died the night my parents took me to the hospital. I should have died in the morning after that night like the doctors said I would have had my parents not taken me to the hospital when they did. I should have died as a one year old baby, too young to show any of the promise of intelligence or beauty I would soon begin to show, I should have died causing only some initial gut wrenching pain, and not a life time of pain. My body should not be covered in puncture wounds. I should not have scar tissue marring the skin on my stomach and buttocks. 

I regret my disease, but at the same time I am grateful for it. It is because of my diabetes that I am so mature and intelligent. It is because of my diabetes that I know pain, and I know how to tolerate and fight pain, and I understand that eventually, pain lessens, although it never completely goes away. It is because of my diabetes that I am capable of taking care of myself, even through the times that I so desperately need someone; I am always there for myself, and that should be enough.

It wouldn’t hurt to have some feeling in my fingertips though. It wouldn’t hurt to know what my would-be significant other really feels like.