Readers, I have been naughty; very naughty. You see, I forgot to mention, post and even give suspenseful follow ups of my big plans. So let me fill you in. I’m in Puerto Rico; yeap, I’m back to my home island. No, I did not quit my life in Boone and came back. I’m here for ‘winter break’. Yeah, I’m having lots of fun; it’s hotter than I expected and the food, man did I miss getting fat. Anywho, let me fill you in a three part post.
When I left home the first time I was ready to leave. I wanted to start a new life and become the me that was slowly blossoming. However, it became one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. The action and realization of leaving everything I knew and going into the unknown filled me with undying fear. I mean, literally. I had nightmares of getting on the plane and saying goodbye to Mr. Grumpy. I woke up in full on anxiety attacks and for the longest time I had to see a psychologist on a weekly basis just to get through most days. Don’t get me wrong, I regret nothing but I realized that in order to get where I am now I needed to make some sacrifices. It hurt like a Mothertrucker all the way but once I waded through most of the turbulent waters I found a nice breezy spot in the beach that is life (pun intended).
As I prepared for my trip this time, I realized that the fear was still there. However, it did not stem from travelling or leaving but from the idea that I would go back to a life I no longer fit in. I say this because in my transition and growth at Boone I have learned how to be me, how to speak out and say what I feel; how to be a strong and independent adult who does as she please. All these things I did not have in my old life. I come from a culture that does not value honesty, that mocks sentimentality, that does not have a kind word without following it up with an insult; a society where women rarely have a voice fundamentalist hypocrisy is a daily thing. I am painting my culture a lot bleaker than it really is. I assure you not everybody is this way and that this is not the norm. Yet, to me, in my subjective view, this is how I have been treated and raised. Going back home meant trying to adjust the new me into an old picture, one that could not be photoshopped; or at least that’s how it felt. My more dominant fear came from believing that if I breathed enough of that old life, I would revert back to who I used to be.
In the end, it seemed like endless possibilities of things that could go wrong; Murphy’s third law. However, I braved through the thoughts and kept my eyes on the prize (seeing Mr. Grumpy again), and 8 hours of travelling later I was in his arms, in the heat of the tropics with my people. Anxiety was present but I stood my ground and I kept repeating Carl Roger’s words over and over again. He said, in his book “On Becoming a Person”, that when you learn to be genuine by giving yourself permission to experience life in an undistorted way, the relationships you have with others become genuine as well. This meant that, through my change and my actions others could emulate and react to it, thus changing our dynamic. Maybe my growth would impact others positively, maybe not; all I know is that I have sprouted and those around me have seen my new colors and enjoyed my new scent.
Hence, dear reader, dynamics have changed and so have I. I am more direct, not fearing in calling out other people’s bullshit in public or private so as to correct behavior I deem negative towards me or any other person. These negative behaviors include racism, homophobia, emotional and psychological manipulation and or bullying, chauvinism and machismo. I am more willing to offer kind words when needed and not when wanted. Flattery is not appealing, begging is not acceptable and words are not to be wasted on those who are not willing to listen. Finally, I am fuller of life and I wish to share it with those who are willing to be part of my journey. I refuse to chase after those who do not and did not value me; I will not wither away thinking on the past and what the wrong people did to me, and I will not open my doors to those who only wish to hurt me.
All these changes and virtues may seem simple but once they are taken into account and implemented they make crashing statements in the smallest of situations. And for that I am grateful. Yes, I have butted heads with many people over these ideals and changes but in the end it all has been worth it. I am, as you are dear reader, a person and where my rights start the other person’s rights end. And that is a line, that is not so transparent, that should always be respected.
Finally, dear reader ends the first part of this post. I am in my home island and whilst everything seems to be the same, I have changed. And I hope that through my change I will be able to plant a small seed that will grow to be a strong tree. A tree that will hand out fruits to those who feed it and will be shelter to those who need it.
Signing Off, TWS
P.S. I will be adding pictures of my work to some of my posts. Feel free to go to my page Paradise Inks, like the page and make orders.