They say…

They say…
#MindOfBrando

Dicen que ya nadie se enamora. Que el último romántico ha muerto y que las flores ya no saben de floreros. Dicen que los besos a ojos cerrados pasaron de moda, que las cartas a puño son muy lentas, que agarrarse de la mano es cosa de viejos. Dicen que abrirle la puerta a una dama, para qué, si hay igualdad de derechos. Dicen que hay que pretender que uno no siente; que si te llaman bien, y si no, también, y si te he amado no lo recuerdo; ¿cómo te llamabas, que no me acuerdo? Dicen que para todo hay que hacer una cita, consultar el calendario, la fecha, el horario, dos cafés sin azúcar y pagamos a medias. Dicen que no hay diferencia entre el amor y el sexo, y que eso de querer con el alma es puro cuento. Dicen que no aman porque les da miedo el amor, y aunque tengan razón, nunca voy a estar de acuerdo. Porque digan lo que digan, aquí estoy yo, escribiéndole al amor. Queriendo, besando, sufriendo, muriendo y resucitando; solo para amar de nuevo. – Brando


Found this quote on Facebook and loved it so much that I decided to attempt to convey the same sentiment by translating it. Here goes:

They say that no one falls in love anymore. That the last romantic has died and that flowers don’t know about vases. 

They say that kissing with your eyes closed went out of fashion, that handwritten letters are too tedious and that holding hands is for old people.  

They say, about opening the door for a Lady, what for if we have equal rights.  They say you must pretend not to feel anything; that if they call great and if they don’t that’s fine too. If I have loved you I don’t remember. What was your name? I don’t recall. 

They say you must make an appointment for everything, check the calendar, date and time – two coffees, no sugar and we split the bill in half. 


They say there’s no difference between love and sex and that loving with your soul is just a story. They say they don’t love because they are afraid of love yet even if they are right I will never agree with them. Because regardless of what they say, here I am, writing for love; loving, kissing, suffering, dying and reviving just to love again. 

❤️💔❤️💔

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We Really Are Okay

We Really Are Okay

To My Son’s Father,

While you truly do not deserve an ounce of my energy or a moment of my time, I am writing to you on behalf of our son and his unfulfilled desire to experience some glimmer of a healthy and functional relationship with his father. I use the term “our son” extremely loosely as your contribution to his existence has been minimal, yet this beautiful young man still longs for your love.

I could hear it in his trembling voice this evening as he enumerated all the reasons why he would rather not have you in his life any more.  Frankly this has been a long time coming. You’ve missed out on so much: a lot of skinned knees and ear infections, a lot of late nights and early mornings, a bunch of empty pockets and unfulfilled promises. You don’t feed him or clothe him or cuddle with him. You do not help him with his homework. You don’t listen to him, comfort him or respect him as an individual.

In the 16 and a half glorious years that our child has graced this planet, you have managed to not only miss out on countless memories and milestones, but also to contribute a surplus of disappointment and daddy issues to his life. Time and time again you have failed to show up, forgotten to call, and messed with your son’s emotions and sense of security. You have become famous for incoherent conversations and infamous for sleeping off hangovers instead of spending your free time with him. You’ve made limited attempts to support your child in any manner whatsoever. You take no initiative to be involved in his schooling. You take no steps to take part in his healing. You ignore all monetary obligations to assist in his surviving. Oh that’s right, you did pay rent two months in a row last year, half the rent back in April of last year; and of course there was that time back in 2004 when I had to sell you our big screen tv so you could actually help me pay rent.  Yet somehow you believe that the few times that you did help us equates to you being there for him all his life. When in reality you’d often say things like “I’ll see him when I see him.”
Most recently you claimed that me being unable to pay rent is my problem and that you are not responsible for me.  You are right.  However, you do not seem the least bit concerned about how this affects our son – where will he sleep, what will he eat, how will this affect his grades?  Perhaps this is your way to force him to live with you, again without any consideration about how doing so will affect him.
In spite of that I never kept him from you. I never prevented you from seeing him and I never told him anything disparaging about you. I let him make his own choices.
I am thankful to you for many things. The first, and most obvious, is for contributing your genetic material to create him, albeit the solitary shining achievement in your legacy of fatherhood. Secondly, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude for the many lessons you have taught our boy. Thank you for teaching him to be strong. Without your constant onslaught of spectacular screw ups, he might not be as fiercely resilient as he is today. Had you not failed him in every way imaginable, he might have only had the opportunity to be a typical little boy. Thank you for teaching him to be independent. He doesn’t need you. Not for anything anymore. Thank you for teaching him one of life’s most valuable lessons: expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed. Thank you for teaching him how to cope with grief, and anxiety, and depression at such an early age.
Thank you also for all of the unsolicited advice you continue to dole out to your son: he should play a sport, he should eat more vegetables, he should be thinner, faster, smarter, better.  Because according to you he belongs to a superior, highly educated family. Since you seem so interested in working in the advice department, allow me to return the favor. Get a life. Get a grip on your selfish, self-centered, childish and petulant behavior. Get it together for your son.
Our son is special. He is smart and funny and all-around awesome, and he is tough, independent and successful. He has a spectacular sense of humor and a well-rounded sense of self.
Although I am concerned about how this decision will affect him as he rushes into manhood I am relieved that my silence about you is finally over. My protection of you in the eyes of my son has ended. I will no longer bite my tongue about your questionable parenting, and I will no longer force him to make any attempts to contact you. My son, will determine from this point on whether or not HE wants to deal with you.
Despite the fact that I am currently unemployed and our future seems bleak and uncertain; I know Baz and I are walking out on the other side of this dark tunnel holding hands, mother and son – an unbreakable bond of love and support. We are stronger than we’ve ever been because of each other, because not only did I guide and show him the way, he showed me too. He gave me the reason to believe in myself and push hard to become who I am. He taught me how to love, and he showed me what the meaning of work ethic is and what the word fight really means. We really are okay.
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Giving Up Not An Option

Giving Up Not An Option

Last Thursday I was unexpectedly laid due to “budget cuts” they said. Yet I’m aware that the current political climate within the Union I was employed by is unstable so I am certain that the “budget cuts” excuse is not accurate but I have no way of proving it. So there I was feeling like a pitiful sad-sack of emotions. The thirty minutes it took me to reach the bus stop I alternated between worrying about projects I left behind and sobbing uncontrollably. My friends M, K & R all called to let me vent and reassure me. As did my Sister, my Father, Aunt, and cousins. My Facebook friends all rallied to cheer me up. Even my son’s father called to let me know I can count on him if I need anything. I am loved. My cup runneth over…

  

So now what?

While I would love to be able to work from home and/or create my own business truthfully I am terrified!  How am I going to make ends meet? What bills am I going to have to defer and for how long? I forgot how disorienting, stressful and difficult it can be to be unemployed and without any prospects.  

Although I did start updating my resume I mostly gave myself a break over the weekend and allowed myself to mourn the loss. Then early Monday morning I finished updating my resume and scouring the want ands for my next admin gig. 

  

The immediate plan is to use my severance pay (when it finally arrives) to pay rent this month while I search for a new gig. The fear is still there. However, I realize that  the layoff is simply the end of one chapter in my life. I have to take this opportunity to build myself back up and find that new beginning for myself and my Son.  

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The lack of a 9-to-5 also opens up my schedule to market my online Chloe+Isabel jewelry boutique full-time which I really didn’t have time for while I was stuck in the office.  

Generally I market my business through social media, holding online events to drive traffic to my boutique.  Now that my schedule is completely open I am excited about using this time to have some personal or group styling sessions.   

 

If you haven’t already, please visit my boutique. The jewelry is so versatile, especially the convertible jewelry.  Each piece can be worn in a variety of ways for maximum use and value.  Plus, all C+I jewelry is hypoallergenic, lead safe, nickel free and comes with a LIFETIME REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE. Yes, I said lifetime!!! 

 

You can find a something that suits your personal style on my boutique:

http://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/bymaruca

 
I’ll be re-launching my boutique and am working on a special offer. In the meantime please feel free to message me at candibymaruca@gmail.com, if you have any questions. 

On Your 16th Birthday

On Your 16th Birthday

You are sixteen today. SIXTEEN! How is this even possible?!!? I remember being sixteen. I loved being sixteen! (It doesn’t seem that long ago actually.). For the record, I think you’re going to be way better at it than I was. You have a better sense of who you are than I ever did.

Many changes will be arriving soon enough and experiences are going to be pouring in, just remember to always be true to yourself. You were born in this world to be an original just as you are. Of course there will be times where you will sometimes blend in with the world, but at the end of every day, remember to hold on to your individuality. Stay caring, loving, humble and as confident as you are and allow these characteristics to become permanent elements as you continue to grow into your future self.  As much as I celebrate the ever-more-amazing you, and want to wrap you up in super-duper extra strength bubble wrap to keep you safe and sound as you navigate the next few years; I know I have to let you cut your path.  I pray that you make good decisions. But if you make bad ones, I pray that you be given a moment of grace so that the consequences aren’t life-altering, heart-breaking or soul-crushing and that you appreciate that moment as gift and a chance to grow. 

Oh, yes, remember to always call your mother. I know this sounds cliché but do it anyway. For as long as I roam this planet, there will never be a time that I don’t want to hear about the latest in your life, your friends, your studies, your job, what you hope to achieve or even just what you had for lunch. I may not always have all of the answers, but I can promise you that I will always be here to listen, nurture, and comfort you. So call me.

Don’t be afraid to be all in. Explore, read, see the world, get involved, defend a cause, right a wrong, step out of your comfort zone, sing, dance, make a fool of yourself, swim, run, hike, watch sunsets, play games and look at the stars. 

I am so very proud of you my son and I am ridiculously blessed to be your mom. I know your future holds great things.  And I feel privileged to claim a front seat in watching it all unfold. Live long and prosper. 

Happy birthday, Sebastian!  

 

Feeling Accomplished

Feeling Accomplished
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Exhausted, swollen and tomato-faced but very proud of myself.

I did it!  I completed my very first 5k and jogged most of the way. YAY ME!!!

 

The thought of a 5k was intimidating but I wanted to push myself just to see if I could do it.  I am supper grateful for the nice lady that kept me company for the entire race – even though she’s an experienced runner and could have easily left me behind.

My intentions were to walk most of it but with her encouragement and in an effort to keep up with her I did a mix of jogging and walking and managed to finish in 58m 30s.  Of course other people’s time was better while others took longer to finish the race so I am not concerned about how long it took me to complete the race.  The important thing is that I got up on Thanksgiving morning and kept my word.  Instead of sleeping on my day off, I rose up at 6am, drove myself to the Turkey Trot and FINISHED the race without quitting even when I felt like throwing in the towel. It took a lot of willpower to keep pushing while my body felt like it was about to collapse but I was proud of myself that I didn’t give in.

While my body certainly took a beating yesterday I am actually thinking about doing another 5k and see how I can improve.  I know, me, the gal who hates running is looking forward to another race!!!

My Smile Is Not An Invitation

My Smile Is Not An Invitation

With the Turkey Trot 5K around the corner I decided that I would start walking home from work.  As I way of making the walk more enjoyable I also decided to be friendly to whomever crossed my path. After all, there’s nothing wrong with making new friends!  At first, people actually shrank from me physically. But within a few days, they started to smile back at me.  This emboldened me to continue being friendly.  Smiling at these strangers was like a small exercise in compassion in which I acknowledged their humanity, and in doing so produced joy within myself.

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One late September evening, it took me a little longer to leave work because I could not find my office keys. So ended up leaving an hour later than usual.  There was still plenty of light and lots of commuters on the road as well so I wasn’t worried.  Two miles into my walk, a young Hispanic man in a black Chevy truck pulled into the next drive way ahead of me. He greeted me warmly and respectfully. He introduced himself and offered me a ride. I told him I was walking for my health and would prefer to continue walking. We continued talking for about 20 minutes and the whole time he was very cordial and nice. He offered me a ride again and added that he would walk with me the rest of the way to keep me company if I didn’t want to ride with him. I dropped my guard and accepted the ride and asked him to drop me off at the high school. During the ride he continued to be friendly and respectful. Nothing could have alerted me to what happened next when he dropped me off in the school parking lot.

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High School Teacher Parking Lot

He parked the car and as I gathered my sweater and backpack to get off his truck, he walked over, opened the door for me and held his hand to help me get off.   While I thanked him for the ride and prepared to say good-bye he asked if we could keep in touch and gave him my business card. Then he asked for a selfie for him to remember me by, to which I consented as well. He snapped a couple of pictures but they they came out blurry so I set down my things and offered to take the picture myself.  While I held my arms up, holding his phone to take the picture he positioned himself behind me, grabbed my hips, pulled me close to him and rubbed up on me with an obvious erection.  He just had this nasty smile on his face. He knew he had me. And I was too stunned by the whole thing to really stop him. It all happened so fast that it took me a minute to fully realize what he was doing.  It was the longest minute ever!  I just wanted him to finish and leave.…I didn’t want anybody else to notice what was going on, because I was so embarrassed by the whole thing. I felt so violated. I confronted him and all he could say in Spanish is, “I couldn’t help it. I like you. You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. I’ve always wanted a woman like you.” I quickly grabbed my things and walked away as quickly as I could, looking over my shoulder to make sure he didn’t follow me. Hot tears streaming down my face. It’s probably the most degraded I’ve ever felt in my life. I felt violated, and pissed off, but I couldn’t even muster the courage to make eye contact.  I’m a grown woman, a mother, I’ve always known how to take care of myself. How could I drop my guard and allow myself to be so vulnerable? I knew better. The shame was so overwhelming that I didn’t even think of taking down his license plate number, or remember to ask him to give me back my business card.  I told my friend about the incident and the first thing she asked was, “Why didn’t you call the police?”  My father and the man I’m dating also asked similar questions and both scolded me for walking alone.  As if I wasn’t ashamed enough already that a stranger touched me so intimately, in broad daylight, on a busy street, and I did nothing about it.

Since then I’ve changed my walking route, I carry pepper spray and I don’t talk to strangers on the street anymore.  There will be no more smiling at strangers.

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Just last week, I saw him again… or rather he saw me. I was walking my new route and there, two blocks away from my apartment complex, he was waiting for me at a bank parking lot. I stoically walked past him, ignoring him as he desperately tried to get my attention.  Immediately I called my 15 year old son to come meet me. We walked past our complex and around the next corner looking around  to make sure we were not being followed before making our way back to our apartment complex.

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It terrifies me to think that I may have a stalker but I’m determined NOT to let this man scare me into not walking anymore.