August 18th

My mom was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease while I was in high school – We lost her when I was 24 years old, on August 18, 2016.  Those were the most devastating years of my life.
She used to bake and decorate cakes professionally for all occasions – mostly weddings. But she even made up a boob cake in a blue bikini top for a Bachelor party that she thought was so hilarious.  Pineapple upside down cake with Brandy was a classic she’d make for us at home.  So I’m going to make it on Sunday. A cake every year for tradition.
Knowing I’ve survived 3 years now, in a world that no longer includes my amazing mother introduces a lot of complex feelings. Sometimes I still feel guilty for embracing so much joy. But I realize that my happiness has a lot to do with the lessons she instilled in me – so though gone in body she is still here. She is present in the way I let go of the small things or make efforts to be a better listener to my friends, in the way I want to give more hugs, and love as freely as she did.  
August 18th is the day that death touched my life and changed me forever.  There’s so much I wish I could tell her now. But mostly how much I love and miss her. And that I think of her…every. single. day. 

It’s Okay If You Don’t Like Me

Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay because not everyone has good taste.  What? Should I have gone somewhere different with that?

I occasionally do some reflecting on previous versions of myself compared to the person I am today.  How some people in my life came and went during the c#nt-iest phases of my 20s. How those people might think of me now and say “What a cu*&!” 
How people I have met recently or within the last couple of years still think I’m unbearable even though I feel like I’m the best version of myself yet.  I’m human. It can bother me sometimes when people don’t like me for the simple fact that my person doesn’t sit well with them. Who doesn’t want to be liked?
But if everyone liked me..or would take away from the connections I have with those who do like me when no one else has to.  Not everyone is going to know how to receive my energy, and I’m at peace with that.  So, if you like me, you have good taste.  
If you don’t…well, I don’t like you either 🙂

In a Relationship With Me

Being single this summer has forced me to spend some time looking inward.  I started asking myself why I’ve spent so much time in and out of relationships, and I rarely stay single for more than six months at a time (if that).  It’s strange because people who know me tend to describe me as this free spirit, the girl who does what she wants and can’t be controlled.  I’m not the kind of person who depends on a relationship for safety or security – yet I find myself always in one?  Why?

 Because I’m fucking high demand that’s why. Grade A, bomb ass P………..KIDDING.

 I think it’s because I’m such an extrovert and I’m always meeting new people and having an amazing time (PG answer 😊).  Then I connect with someone, we like each other, and over time it becomes the next step that just makes the most sense despite the red flags.  So far that obviously hasn’t worked out for me – my longest relationship has been with my cat (6 years strong baby).

So instead, I’m consciously choosing to enjoy this me (and cat) time.  My old skool aunt would tell you that at 27, I’m being “too picky”, and she asked me to point her to the mystical land of Mr Perfects when I find it.  I’m not searching for perfect.  I’m searching for myself (what a millennial line).  There are things that I thought I wanted out of life, but by being with myself this summer alone, I realized that I don’t want those things.  I don’t want to have kids, I don’t want to move back home to settle down anymore.  I don’t want to settle down at all, until my joints hurt and I can’t walk.  This isn’t to say I’m opposed to fully sharing my life with someone else again, it just can’t be because it’s the “next step” to stay in each other’s lives.

Working on that…that’s the next step in my relationship with me.

It’s My Birthday

It’s not my birthday. It just feels like it, except better.

I’m seeing my favorite artist close out a tour they started in 2017 this weekend. It’ll be my 11th time. They have 2 show dates for people who couldn’t make the 1st date – I’m going to both.

I have traveled across the country for them, changed my move to California from my hometown date because I heard they were coming, I’ve spontaneously driven 6+ hours to see them in San Francisco for NYE and had to drive back in less than 24 hours…I’ve sat in 4+ hours of traffic to see them in Vegas, I’ve been sick with the flu in San Diego and laid on the grass at a festival feeling like death for hours waiting for their set, and when it started it was like I wasn’t sick at all anymore (I paid dearly when it ended)… and now I’m going up to Los Angeles two days in a row to see the same show twice

I know a lot of people think I’m ridiculous (I prefer passionate) for my uncanny obsession with ODESZA – but all I have to say to that is I am so happy I found something in life that makes me THIS HAPPY.  To have an experience make me feel like nothing else does (that’s right, better than sex), DESPITE all the shittiness and voids there are in life?? Something as simple as a show temporarily erases all of that for me; Anyone mad at that is just bitter. The memories of 20 year old Jade falling in love with a sound as I learned to navigate some harsh realities on my own are part of what make it so special, and I think everyone can relate to something like that.  

I plan to cry my eyes out this weekend (I’m not a crier and it won’t be because of any drug influence either)…They say your wedding is supposed to be THE best day of your life….I mean unless ODESZAis DJ’ing the damn thing there’s no way it’ll be mine. 😉

Mixed Privilege

I come from a multi-cultural background– with a Puerto Rican mother and a bi-racial father…so interactions between my family and community  were seen from a somewhat unique perspective, in that nothing has ever been absolute in terms of race acceptance and understanding.  A few months ago, I was at a comedy show and this black chick went up there and started ragging on mixed people (kind of unique comedic topic in my opinion).  I thought it was funny until she said something that I still tread on daily – Mixed people need to recognize their privilege too.  This was one of the first times I heard this idea outside of my own head, because I have always had a vague understanding of where I fall on the “black struggle” spectrum.  My natural hair is constantly showered with compliments from almost every race, where black women often feel that their natural hair is not beautiful – nor so readily accepted.  Just because my curls can be a lot of work (it requires 12 bottles of weekly conditioning and daily foot massages), it doesn’t mean I should cry louder than the women who have an almost subconscious belief via our cultural norms that their natural coils are “ugly”.  I think people want so badly to be a part of things they aren’t really a part of a little too often.  I mean, I get it- adversity breeds admirable characters with strength and wisdom, so we want people to hear about what we have “been through” and then correlate those experiences to issues that just aren’t quite in our bucket.  I try my best to recognize my privilege, for being mixed and also a U.S. citizen.  Without undermining the issue, I want to focus more on how my life has been favored and fortunate despite my perceived battles in the world.  I am grateful for a place in society where I can only empathize deeply with those who struggle in ways I do not.  I believe it is gratitude, not adversity or “struggle points” that turns what we have into enough after all.

You Will Love Again

My first heartbreak was about three years ago.  I was so angsty that I found myself Googling dumb articles like “How long will it take to get over my ex?” (PSA Google said to add 6 months for every 3 months you were together, it’s basic fundamental math).  But after the time that flawless equation summed up came and went – I was still thinking of this guy!  He’d come up randomly for no apparent reason and I’d get a small missing pang in my guts (I later found out this had to do with the fact that I had illegal surgery performed in a back ally to remove my kidney).

Getting over my ex felt like I was training for a marathon.  Except the end result, at least to me, was even more worthwhile because of who it made me today.  Now, I try to bring myself back to that time and how I’d wake up in the middle of the night wanting him back, or how I convinced myself I would never be the same me again…And I just can’t relate anymore.  I want to write about it to seem relatable to everyone who has or is going through the unspeakable right now, but I’m so past it that it just feels – phony – to try to be poetic about someone who shit in my cereal three years ago. Put it like this, recalling how bent out of shape I was over this dude would be like trying to put your poop back in your butt. Now that you have a nice visual, I decided to instead sum up some of the major takeaways I got from the entire experience…if you’re going through something like this, or you already have, I hope it resonates with you.

  1. You will get through this.
  2. You won’t be the same ‘you’ that you were, you’ll be a better version.
  3. I remember the very day I got over to the other side of the plateau (this is very important) – it was the day I let go of ALL HOPE that we would get back together one day.  As long as you hold onto hope, you will not move on.  When you let it go, you do unimaginable things for your journey and strength of character. And no, it’s not supposed to be easy…but if it was easy everyone would be an Olympic marathon athlete.
  4. I spent a lot of days and nights in my apartment hyperventilating over it (then my cat would decide I was worthy of comfort because I scooped his shit every day)…I wanted so badly to hear from him, to send a text, to call him.  Instead I fought the urge to do it solely out of respect for myself.  This is the single most caring thing I did for me.  Always put yourself first with these things, and you’ll come in first place on the day of the marathon. No pain no gain, baby.
  5. If you have been wronged and believe you deserve some type of closure in order to move on…Forget it.  Refer to my last post. No one in this world owes you a damn thing. You’ll get through this without an apology, and since it won’t kill you, it’ll definitely make you stronger.
  6. Don’t tie your self-worth to what your ex thinks of you.  Your value must come from within. You are enough. Believe in that and the rest of the advice in this post will naturally follow suit.
  7. Don’t be afraid to love again. There are still good people out there. Oh, and….
  8. You will love again.