My Morning Bus Driver

We met when he stopped the bus in the middle of the road so I could get in. You cannot really run with that cast, he said. And I liked him since that day.

Every morning, he would show up with a nice smile and a good morning. He wouldn’t start moving the bus until I have found a seat.

When my cast was removed, he still would ask how I was doing. I loved that so much. He, a random and kind stranger would ask how I was doing. Some close people (friends, family) never followed up at all.

I don’t see him anymore. I miss him. But I’ll always remember him and pray for him. Because there were days, mornings particularly, when his how are you doing? made me feel loved and less alone.

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Ten Years and Two Reasons

This August I will be celebrating 10 years since I moved to Canada. I’m 32, so pretty much I’ve lived a third of my life in this country. It doesn’t feel like that at all.

I came to Canada when I was 22 years old. I remember how happy and excited I was to be here. I was also incredibly happy that I wasn’t in Puebla anymore (I wanted to leave so badly).

These 10 years have been very difficult, I would have never guessed that. Never. But there are 2 things that have given me all the strength to go on: my husband and God.

 God

Although I know that I’ve always had God, it was not until 2 years ago that I really experienced my faith as an engine towards pushing harder and not giving up. I wasn’t a practicing Catholic, but I thought that in my own way I loved God. I had no idea all the things that I was missing!

Now, I have a personal relationship with Jesus and he is at the centre of my life. I see Mary as my true mother, and the Saints as those friends that are always with me, helping me grow in holiness.

I see suffering as an opportunity to grow, I struggle many times to do so, but I try my best.

I’ve realized I’m not as nice as I thought, and I fail to be the best version of myself most of the days.

I know God only wants the best for me, and while most of the times I cannot understand why certain things are happening, I trust in Jesus, because I know who He is.

 My Munequito

My husband is just too good for me. I’m the evil one in this marriage, and everyone knows it (my family, our friends, etc.). Now that I think about it, I know God gave me this husband so I could handle trials and suffering, but also all the happiness and blessing that I’ve been given. Praise God for that!

My Munequito is smart, incredibly nice, kind and loving, in fact, that’s his only defect: an excess of kindness. It amazes me how much he loves me despite my many faults, my constant rumination about the same things over and over.

Last week at counselling, when trying to look at the progress I’ve made, Lindsey said: I remember when Morgan contacted me because he thought you were going to kill yourself. He was there, at the end of my first session with Lindsey when we came up with an emergency code that we were going to use when I felt like I was just going to kill myself.

Yesterday I was watching Downton Abbey, and Mr Bates said to Anna (Mr Bates and Anna are one of my favourite TV couples of all time): It’s not right for you to cry alone. You’re married, and that means you never have to cry alone again. I immediately texted this to my Munequito and told him: you’ve never told me such thing! But the truth is, I’ve cried next to my Munequito many times, I’ve lied down on his chest at night and sobbed nonstop.

Many years ago, back in Mexico, I once wrote: the worst thing of being alone is knowing that, indeed, you have somebody around (lo peor de estar solo es sabe que sí se tiene a alguien). I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t think my Munequito understands the many reasons that make me depressed or fuel my anxiety, but that’s not important. He is always there, hearing my complaints, drying my tears, trying to love me more and more.

I only hope I’m at least half as good to him as he is to me.

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I’ll See Her Again

I always thought that when my abue died I was going to be beyond devastated. I used to think that I was never going to recover from her dead. Thanks to my faith, that wasn’t the case.

Last year she passed away. My brother gave me the news early Friday, and by Saturday at 3 am I was already with my family in Puebla. I was devastated to see my mum so crushed, to see my Avi barely alive, and to be home, a place that I refuse to recognize as my own.

I cried, but very little to be honest. I was upset I didn’t get to spend another Christmas with my abue, a Christmas where my husband could be present. At the same time, I was aware of how much mental and physical suffering my abue was having, and consequently, I knew about my mum’s struggles to properly care for her.

Although it had been decades since my abue received the Eucharist, I’m confident she’s in Purgatory. And that makes me so happy because God willing, I’ll see her one day. Since she died, every Holy Communion I’ve received it’s been offered for her: that her suffering may the temporarily relief and that she may join God in His heavenly kingdom soon.

My abue was the best grandma I could ever have. I think I’ve said this before, but if I’m a moderately decent person it’s because my abue raised me while my mum spent hours at work so she could provide for me.

My abue was so much fun, kind and also very strict. I love her so much. I only have happy memories of her. She loved me like a mother and I have nothing for thankfulness and love for her.

I know she was happy that I married such a wonderful man. I can’t wait to see her again.

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Summer Love

I take you for granted because I’ve grown used to your love,

your kindness and innocence

your good heart, a heart with no malice.

I love you because your smile is bright and welcomes my many faults,

because you’re patient with me, a me that I can barely stand sometimes.

 

I love you because somehow you don’t judge me…I’m not even sure how that’s possible.

I love you because you’re meant for me,

because even your small imperfections complement the perfect love you offer me every day.

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Rebraining My Brain

I need to rewire my brain, that’s the conclusion Lindsey (my counsellor) and I reached after my last session. I don’t like saying rewiring, so I made up the term rebrainig (which is not really a word, but I’ve decided to use it for my specific goals).

Remember my obsession with X & Y?  It was concluded that my dislike for these people comes from the thought that they’re the representation of all the anger and disappointment that Canada has given me during the 10 years I’ve been living here. 

First, let me explain what I mean b reward the lazy, the I’m lucky, not matter the poor choices I make. This makes me angry because, in Mexico, you cannot hang on to luck that way. Sure thing you can be lucky in Mexico, but there are limits. I guess the first world lucky limits are way better than third world ones.

It’s not that I don’t want Y & X to on a vacation, it’s just so incredibly unfair that they go on vacation with the little work they do. Yes, I’m judging them based on my standards of hard work, standards which are highly influenced by my own experience and the honest hard work of the Mexican poor and middle classes.

Y & X are not even one-quarter as educated as some people I know, yet, they live a stress-free, relaxed and privileged life. On the other hand, my brilliant hard working friends and acquaintances don’t enjoy international vacation or drinks every Friday. Some people will call Y & X talented. Are you kidding me? I know real talent and hard work. I know the meaning of sacrifice (despite my own privilege). I also know people’s sacrifices. Oh! But that doesn’t matter because most of the times we’re* not even acknowledged at the most basic level (welcome to the real world of *racialized minorities in Canada!)

Y & X  could not have the lifestyle they have if they were in Mexico. This drives me crazy, it makes me angry, frustrated and disappointed.

Canada has taught me that your skin colour matters in how you’re treated, in your job opportunities, in how people talk to you. And yes, part of  X’s & Y’s  luck stems from their whiteness.

X & Y also represent the fakeness I’ve encountered in Canada, the of course I care about you, but not really, the I love you, but I’m not really interested in who you are, the I know your culture better and I’ll appropriate it by celebrating Dia de Los Muertos and sharing my salsa tips with you.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want nor wish X & Y any suffering or misfortune. I don’t want the life they have, not at all! I’m not jealous of their accomplishments, I wouldn’t trade my SAD tears for their weekend gateways at all. I pray for them constantly, because I’m no better than them. I feel bad that X & Y  ended up being the representation of how Canada has failed me in some many ways. But here we are, and in reality, they indeed represent my many disappointments throughout the years.  How is rebraining going to help me overcome my anger towards them? Well, I have very legitimate reasons to be angry at them. The problem is that many small little things that make me upset or angry, lead me to (no matter what the origin is) an angry mental association with   X & Y. A few days ago, I simply couldn’t wake up at 5:25 am to do my morning exercises, and again, within seconds, my anger was about X & Y (they’re probably sleeping, the don’t need to exercise, they don’t work hard enough). Lindsey told me: do you realise you invited these people to your bed that morning? I don’t want that! That’s where rebraining comes into place. That’s when I’ll start reciting the alphabet (in English) backwards, in order to dissociate anger with Y & X. My brain now connects any kind of anger and disappointment to them,  and I need to stop those synapses.

Hopefully this year, I’ll be able to do dissociate Y & X from my sadness and anger. Please pray for me, pray for the group of people that X & Y represent.

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My Two Instant Thoughts

When small things crush me, this is what I immediately think:

I’m simply not meant for happiness

&

Why do X & Y never have any failures like mine?; they don’t work hard at all and things go well for them.

Not Meant For Happiness

I’m aware that my first thought is clearly connected to depression. Deep inside of me, I know I’m meant for happiness; I know that’s what God wants for me. I know this is a symptom of depression because getting a watery London Fog from a coffee shop doesn’t mean at all that I’m doomed to unhappiness. I know that when small things crush me and make me cry, it’s not really because I’m a failure; I feel that way because I have a mental imbalance. Despite my knowing of all these things, it’s very hard to see otherwise when I feel devastated.

But, but…X & Y Don’t Work Hard Enough, Yet…They Do All These Things

My second thought is an angry thought. My husband and my confessor can confirm that this thought has haunted me for years! (oh! I always wanted to use the word confessor…it makes me believe that I’m in the way of sainthood ahhahaha).

The last time I had a major failure (and this was a real one, a big one), within minutes my anger shifted from its original cause to my classic but why X & Y never have any failures like mine?  It was obvious that this obsession was becoming ridiculous. It’s not jealousy (I could write a post on this), it’s me, judging these people and thinking life is not fair.

I didn’t know what to do, so I prayed and prayed for X & Y. Somehow my prayers brought me consolation. But overall I was still upset and angry. I think both of those feelings were legitimate and reasonable considering the mistake that led me to all this. My anger, however, was not focused at the mistake, but at X & Y who had nothing to do with this at all. And despite my efforts, I couldn’t let it go…and I cried for days.

So I decided to go to counselling. I’ve been going for years –some periods more often than others. It had been over a year since my last visit. Lindsey, my counsellor, is great.  I love her very much and she’s helped me a lot through the years. My session was very helpful; I loved how Lindsey was on my side and she started to become angry at the people I’m angry at.

Lindsey suggested that perhaps these people I’m angry and obsessed with, they are the representation of all the anger and disappointed that Canada has brought to my life during the almost 10 years I’ve been here.  When she told me that, I paused, thought about it, and said: yes, you’re right! As usual, I was surprised I never came to that conclusion by myself.

Neither Lindsey nor I are sure that knowing the reasoning behind my obsession with these people will help me let go of the obsession itself. We’ll have to wait and see. But so far, I think it’s helped me a bit. After my appointment, I’ve had a bunch of small and medium size failures (some exaggerated by my depression, others not as much), and my anger, sadness and disappointment, didn’t translate right away into a direct made-up anger towards these people.

I guess now I’ll need to explain in a second post, what I mean by the representation of all the anger and disappointment that Canada has given me during this 10 years.

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It’s Easier

Yesterday, I was sitting outside the Art Gallery at 9:10 pm. It was dark, but not too cold. I was waiting to be picked up by my Muñequito because my class ended early.

So I was there…sitting on a cement bench. I didn’t feel exhausted like I felt back in February when I was taking a different course. And while looking at people around me, I started to sing: Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…

Yes, living is much easier now than a few months ago; so much easier! I arrived home at 9:30 pm and was capable of having a conversation. I went to bed at 10:30 and I didn’t feel like I was going to die.

My living is easy…my days are easier (even the difficult ones). Praise God for that.

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