And So It Goes…

Family life is a complicated thing, period.

Your relationships with the people in your family are the most difficult ones you will ever come across, as they are the most intimate ones you have. I value family beyond belief. After I had my son the gravity of the importance of family really, truly hit me. I have been so incredibly fortunate in the family department. BUT as fortunate as you are to have some people in your life, is how unlucky you are to have others. That is the sad, sad truth…

No one is perfect and people make mistakes, some larger than others, but above all else we should strive to be better at all times. We will always find a way to let one another down, but we should always do our best to rectify the situation. Who would we be without the love and support of our family? I know I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without mine. These are people who hold memories of all the big parts of your life AND all the little seemingly insignificant things as well.

It must be out of the ingrained Asian influence in my life, but I believe in doing what is best for the whole versus what is best for the individual. When you work together as a group and consider what is best for everyone and not only for yourself you function so much more harmoniously. There might be some individual sacrifices, but when you all support each other the small personal losses pale in comparison to what you gain. There might be times where you disagree as all people have their own opinions, but you do right by others to maintain the family structure.

With that said…

People don’t always share my same philosophy. When Mateo (my almost three year old son) was born, it was very important to me that he know both sides of his family and for them to participate in his life. I never wanted my son to ask me why he didn’t know this person or the other and for it to be becasue I kept him away from them. No matter what you think of people everyone deserves the opportunity to form their own opinions of each other and I always wanted my son to have the chance to do that too. As a parent you also need to protect your children, so even though you want them to be involved with  certain people the interaction has to be to your standards. Obviously when you get to know people you know what they can and cannot be permitted to do or be around your children. No matter what people have done to myself or my almost husband (either my family or his) has it ever influenced who I let Mateo be around unless they are a hazard him.

In all families there are complications that you can only understand if you are on the inside, and Tommy and I are not short on these “family issues”. Quite frankly we have enough material to write a book and start our own psychotherapy facility…(that’s me being serious/trying to make light of the sad situation). I could sit here FOREVER to discuss the various issues we have. They aren’t the kind of “can you believe she said that”, or “did you see what she was wearing” problems; they are huge, monumental, sad, and seemingly irreparable problems that are out of our hands.

When you love people you accept their short comings, you forgive them because you know that they cannot be better than what they are, you learn  more constructive ways to deal with them in order to curtail conflict, you set strict boundaries, and you put people in their place, so to speak, if they step out of line. It sounds simple and wonderful on paper, but let me tell you it is an incredible challenge, an emotional Olympic feat if you will; especially when people fight you EVERY SINGLE STEP of the way. We have forgiven things that people would think we were lying if we told them. Tommy, as is natural in a man is not as forgiving or amiable as I am, but he has gone out of his way to make the effort as well. I have endless faith in people and I always give the benefit of the doubt because I want to believe the best in people. I have always thought that if you treat people with decency and dignity and set a so-called good example they will in turn give you the same kind of treatment.

I can tell you that that train of thought does not work with some people and that’s where you need to re-evaluate. The people that you allow in your life are supposed to enrich through love, light, wisdom, laughter, friendship, support, and guidance. When you get to the point where you are giving but getting absolutely nothing but problems in return you need to take control of the situation. A large part of you becomes accustomed to the constant upheaval and chaos of peoples instability. When you find yourself rationalizing the irrational, you need to stop because you’re about to board the train to Crazytown. Your love for people always urges you to give them the chance to be better because no matter what you have faith in the people you love. People are capable of change and it is natural to always want to hold out for them to change; especially when you yourself have changed so much for the better. You believe that as you have loved them they will in return show you the same commitment and loyalty that was afforded to them. In the end that isn’t always the case no matter how much you wish it were. Love, in all relationships is NEVER enough. So where do you go from here?

The day comes where enough is enough. Said day is never easy. Saying goodbye to the people that you love and are supposed to love you the most is gut wrenching even if you have long been prepared for it. But you have to love yourself more and that’s what pushes you through the moments when you question if you’re doing the right thing by cutting people off. You have to be confident that you did everything in your power to have the opposite result. You have to walk away knowing you tried your best. Some people just can’t be other than what they are and that really is true. Walking away is hard, it’s sometimes as sad as a death. You will be angry, sad, and have regrets, but you can’t sacrifice your dignity and soul for people who would never do the same for you. We have all loved and lost and sometimes we have to love the other people and ourselves enough to know that walking away is what is best.

Fifty Shades…?

I just finished reading the Fifty Shades trilogy, if you did you’ll get it and if you didn’t…well you will. Now read.

I am half an Estrella and even half is overwhelming. By nature we are OUTSPOKEN, intelligent, headstrong, gregarious, overly analytical, political, psychological, passionate, compassionate, raw, real, honest, kind, generous, logical, and fair people. We analyze everything so we can understand people, ourselves, human nature, so we can be accepting and fair, to learn, and to continue to evolve, never stagnating. We aren’t overly gushy or huggie/kissie, or calling daily to say how much we love each other (well besides my Tia Caro), but we are loyal to each other no matter what. No matter what we are there to put each other in our places and to support each other and give each other the occasional kick in the ass. Distance never makes a difference. We are a unique family, anyone who knows us can attest to this, but as a whole we are good people who always seek to do the right thing no matter what that is or what it means. That’s who we were all raised to be. My mother learned from her father and I, my mother.

We are a family of psychology majors (myself, my mother, and my uncle) and wannabe ones. The two aforementioned people are two of the biggest influences in my life. My mother is my mother…bold, outrageous, kind, overbearing, generous, brash and brutally honest, smart; a true humanist is her best description. My uncle, my Tio Joe, is an intelligent man of many resources, an evolved man in an immense amount of ways and not so evolved in others. He is logical, a straight shooter, the most exceptional, dedicated, and involved father I know, one of, if not the most reliable people, and as my mother’s baby brother, so much like her and so opposite her. I could sit forever and talk to them about people and what makes us tick as human beings. They are two of the most interesting, smart people I know. (This is for you guys…)

Why do I mention this you ask? So you can have some small insight into who I am, why I think the way I do, why I am going to write what I’m about to write. I am a thinker, an analyzer, introspective, a perpetual psychoanalyst. I work to get to know myself every single day. With a little inspiration from my latest read, I am constantly trying to gain a better hold and understanding of my ‘Fifty Shades’, if you will. Here we go…

I love therapy. I used to go when my parents were getting divorced and as person who loves to talk and express myself, but is alarmingly private and forthcoming at the same time, it was a most welcomed outlet. At the moment I have this and I’m going to use this particular entry into my “blogatherapy” to discuss intimate relationships. The silly trilogy of books I just read, to see what all the fuss was about, actually sparked a thought in me.

Our life partners or any partners for that matter are, in my opinion, the greatest reflection of who we are and how we feel about ourselves. That isn’t easy to admit. Why do we choose who we choose? We go with what we know; you marry your father, the complete opposite, an exaggerated version, or a mash up. The results of this can be good, great even, or completely disastrous. What direction did I go in? I’ll let you know, but before I do let me say this…My father nor Tommy know I’m writing this, but they’re honest people who know who they are and I know even if they have a little reservations about what I’m going to say they’ll get over it.

My dad, my daddy, my dear father, the first man in my life. I love my dad, underneath his many layers he is a good man, a really, really good man with a gentle heart. If I picked up my phone right now and told my dad I needed something he would sell his kidneys on the black market to guarantee that I get it. He is so kind and generous, a great cook, smart, the HARDEST worker I have ever met, corny in a good way, and an outstanding handyman; but as there always is, he has another side. On the flip side, Mun is dark, tortured, scarred, a victim of a victim of a victim, as we all are.

Growing up my father was a good provider, that was his role, and really his only direct role in my life. Everything I learned from his was at a distance. He was not an involved parent at all, he worked obscenely long hours (as dictates his Asian genes haha). (I spent all my time with my stay-at-home mother, my sister, my most cherished grandmother, my Gommi, my Uncle Ming, and a huge chunk with my mother’s best friend and my childhood best friends, who I share most of my greatest memories with.) My father works well, it’s what he knows and does best. My grandfather who I never was afforded the opportunity to know because he passed away in 1980 was, as I am told, an incredibly reserved, old fashioned man who preferred absolutely silent dinners and spent six months of the year gone because he worked on ships for quite a chunk of my dad’s life. He’s who taught my father what it meant to be a father. As a result, my father worked and that’s how he showed us he loved us and he really did and does love us, he is a good, reliable man.

During my formative years it never really phased me that my dad wasn’t a hands on parent. It didn’t seem like it had a great effect on who I was, but it did. As parent we do all sorts of damage to our children, unknowingly, because on some level we are all broken people who have great strengths and equally great weakness. Also, human nature dictates that we are fallible creatures. We are all missing something that we needed, but that’s life. Doing our best is the best we can do and sometimes our best isn’t enough.

So you ask who I chose? He’s Thomas, my significant other, the father of my child, sometimes one of my best friend (depending on the situation and day), sometimes my worst enemy. I was nearly 16 when I met him; a completely foolish little girl who thought she knew it all, but in fact knew nothing at all. We didn’t date until I was 17 and he was my first real boyfriend. I was not a typical boy crazy teenager so the fact that I was so taken by him was a shock to my system. On the surface he is over the top friendly, a great time, really funny, and really attractive (that isn’t only about looks). If only I knew then what I know now, things might be drastically different. His life and upbringing was/is so chaotic. He comes from a very difficult, sad, sick, bad home, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface.  Soooooo many people will say they know Tommy so well, but it is the farthest thing from the truth.  After six years I’m still learning something new about him everyday. His overly outgoing personality, his giant smile are just masks for the poor, troubled boy he is beneath it. I could literally spend days delving into all the reasons Tommy is who he is and where he comes from, in fact I could write my senior thesis on the psychology behind Thomas Jr., but that would probably make a few people very upset with me (not that I care). Some people don’t like to face the truth and few can, but I do.

As I got to know him and peel back the layers to see what was underneath, I got a glimpse at the wounded and damaged person he was/is. I thought I had found my calling; I was going to save this boy from himself, from the damage done, I was going to make him better and show him that stability existed. That silly little girl deserves a slap in the face!! Who the hell was she to declare herself a ‘Knightess in Shining Armor’?! In a nutshell you can’t save someone who doesn’t want saving. Period. I spent a lot of time clinging to one good moment in spite of 55 bad ones. I felt a responsibility to make him better. He fed some dark need in me and I him.

Fast forward from 2006 to 2012 and this is what it is… We’ve been to hell and back 15 times. He’s made progress with his demons and then taken 35 steps back, we’ve grown together, as after all we were just children. He’s faced so many of his ghosts, kicked a million skeletons out of his closet (with maybe only 250,000 more to go). We’ve had a child somewhere in all that mess and he has made him better, taught him things, brought things to the surface, calmed him, put things to rest in him. He has improved ten fold and as we all are, is a work in progress. There are days when I want to strangle him, but if I see where he’s come from it is inspiring to see what he has become. Out of so much darkness there must come light at some point, right? Well it did in his case and it has been a long journey. Love isn’t a cure for everything, but we’ve stuck by each other this long acting as our respective medicines.

You still ask why him right? What was the point of this ramblings on?  So, in conclusion to this seemingly never ending entry it boils down to this…After much soul searching and honest quiet time spent I know I chose him because he was emotionally unavailable to me like I felt my father was. Tommy is absolutely nothing like my dad in any obvious sense, but he is in that fundamental way. He grabbed my attention and catered to that innocent part of me that just wanted to make someone better in spite of themselves. I wanted to tear down his walls and learn about him and challenge him. I have done all those things, we have done them together. He has taught me things that no one else could ever have, and I him. Knowing him has shed a new light on so many things in my life. It’s made me see how lucky I have been, how fortunate I am to have the people I have. Our relationship has shown me how strong I really am and changed some of my innocent beliefs.  Tommy will be the first person to say that he’s ‘Fifty Shades of fucked up’, but who isn’t in their own way? Most of us not to the exaggerated degree that he was (or even the tortured soul that is the character Christian Grey), but in time we either find our solution or we flounder; luckily he chose to grab the bull by the horns and face it.  I am my own version of ‘Fifty Shades’, none of us are an exception to this. We all have demons, although some much darker than others…

E.L. James, I can’t believe your silly, sometimes sick book sparked such a large thought in me. Who knew?

The Psychology Behind Natalia Chin Version:2012

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking lately. I’ve been trying to analyze my life, take stock of it. I want to see where I am, where I can improve, see how I’ve grown. I’m a little short on alone time, but whenever I get a minute to be still and quiet I reflect. At the end of this year I am going to take the second biggest leap of faith I ever have (second to becoming a mother) and I’ve decided that I want to be the best, most clear version of myself by then. I want to close some chapters and be ready for all that is to come. I’m not a New Year Resolution kind of person, that’s not at all what this is. I just want to be renewed, to rid myself of all the skeletons in my closet.
As human beings we are a constant work in progress, always learning, always changing. I am no exception to that rule and that is probably my favorite thing about life. Nothing is permanent, every moment is fleeting, every day is a opportunity to begin again. In the midst of getting through all the hum drum daily routines we don’t stop to see how lucky we are to have this life as silly and cliche as that may sound. It’s our nature to hold onto things that have hurt us, but these things only eat away at us, so what does that accomplish?

I can so easily spend an entire day complaining and whining about this or that or the other thing and what a waste that is!!
I can sit here and tell you five million things that are going wrong right now, a million things I want to change about myself and my place in life, but what will that do for me? What I should be focusing on is what I can do about it. How can I solve my problems? How can I learn to accept certain things? How can I move on? I am a very introspective person; I wholeheartedly try to do the right thing no matter what that means. Doing the right thing ISN’T easy, doing the wrong thing is very easy. So what is my plan?…

Step One: Reflection
If I take a look back on my life, on the years that I’ve made my biggest decisions, mistakes, and achievements so many different feelings rise. Surprise, happiness, gratitude, excitement, love, betrayal, disappointment, elation, confusion, satisfaction, misery. The past 5 years have been the most important years yet. It has been a time of learning, of immeasurable pain, of disappointment, of the greatest love and happiness, and of growth as a person. At the beginning of it I was just a young girl ready to take on the world head on, thinking I knew everything there was to know. Now, I am a woman, a mother, a significant other trying to learn everyday what I thought I knew then. If I could go back I’d smack that silly little 18 year old girl. I don’t even know that version of myself anymore, that naive, self assured, innocent, blind kid. As life happens you realize that nothing you thought you knew you really did, you see that you have to brace yourself and be prepared for the unknown, and to keep a constantly open mind. I’ve done things and let things happen to me that the past me would have never, ever thought would be possible. I’ve made huge mistakes and giant accomplishments. I’ve been in the pits of despair, had the lowest of lows I’ve ever experienced and have had the purest, most genuine types of joy. After taking the time to summarize this handful of years I have to accept it and make a plan. I have had to struggle to overcome certain things, things that have changed me at my core. I’ve had to see the error in my ways. I have to appreciate and cherish the outstanding monumental things I’ve experienced within this time frame. There are so many things  I wish I could go back and change, moments I want to erase, people I want to erase, situations I want to make amends with. Now how do I come out on the other side a better person?

Step Two: Acceptance/ Solutions                                                                                                                                                         Nothing can be undone once it is done. I can’t take anything back or eradicate any situation. Owning my mistakes and actions is the only way to move forward. I want to move forward. It is in my nature to be an over thinker. When something bad happens or people do bad things to me I tend to harp on it, it’s hard for me to let things go initially. I always say I want to forgive people because I know it’s the best thing to do, the right thing for myself. Forgiveness is really an act of selfishness if you think about it because it relieves you of all the hurt and anger you have built up, it sets you free. That is easier said than done.  I have been involved in things that have hurt me beyond belief, just as any other person who’s lived life. Most of the time people don’t ever see that it takes two to tango, that you always have a part in your dealings with others. Some people can’t be other than what they are, you can’t control other people’s feelings or behaviors, you can only control yourself. If you can’t accept others shortcomings how can you expect them to do so for you? I’ve had bad reactions, I’ve acted impulsively, strictly off of my emotions and that hasn’t always served me so well. I haven’t defended myself when I should have and I’ve been treated unfairly. On occasion I’ve acted foolishly and done things that I shouldn’t have. But at the same time I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for all my experiences, good or bad. I have done great things, I have been patient when people haven’t always deserved it, I’ve treated people in general well, I was raised to respect people and have manners, and I am kind, thoughtful and generous. Hopefully these things can overshadow the mistakes I’ve made and the wrong I’ve done to myself and others. As long as you strive to be good more than not I think it’s okay. If we don’t forgive people we will find that one day we will be all alone because people will always find a way to let you down, to make you doubt them, to hurt you no matter how much they love you. We are fallible creatures who are run by our emotions. We tend to look out for our own best interests or what we believe to be our best interest and that isn’t always to our advantage. People have hurt me, I’ve hurt myself, bad things have happened to me, but I can’t change it or erase it, and I don’t think I would. With time comes absolution, it eases the pain of wrongdoing, all those things that I thought I’d never be able to get over, things that kept me in bed, things that made me crumble on the inside are now just fleeting bad memories, bumps in my road. “Time heals all wounds” and “This too shall pass”, these are saying for a reason…

Step Three: Moving Forward                                                                                                                                                                       Once we’ve accepted the past and all it comes with we have to move forward because the hard part is now past us. We’ve faced it and solved it or let it go. This is the time of your life and of mine. We will never have this moment back and we need to be at our best every minute that we can be. None of us have time to waste, life is short and we only get one. Once we make mistakes we need to learn from them and use them as a guide. Moving on is usually the most impossible part because people never tend to accept things and sometimes think that certain things will just disappear if we ignore them for long enough. I have come out on the other side of these handful of years as a stronger, wiser, less judgmental, more knowledgeable and open minded person. I came out an adult, a permanent student of life. I don’t only live for myself. I live for my son, for my family. I have dreams, goals, places I want to see, things I want to do, experiences I crave. I’m grateful for every chance I get to grow and to meet new people.

Who cares who I was what seems like a hundred years ago? That little girl I’ve left behind? I miss her naivete and her eagerness to sprout her wings. I miss the innocent idea of life and fresh beginning, the feeling of new, first love, and my untainted way of being, but I have gained so much since. Life is such a wondrous thing that should be celebrated. This is our chance, so let’s take it! Laugh, cry, play, dance, sing in the shower, hit snooze on your alarm once in awhile, eat dessert before dinner, go on a ridiculous vacation, hug somebody, just breathe…Everything falls into place somehow. Everything in life is a surprise, so sit back and enjoy the ride…

Mommy 911

Image

WANTED

Mateo Sun Smith

Age:2

Height: 37 inches

Weight: 31 pounds

Wanted for the mass torture of the Estrella-Chin-Smith Household!!!

Don’t let the beautiful face above fool you!! HELP!!!! I have fallen victim to the Terrible Two’s!! I don’t know when it happened, I don’t know why, but I’m just letting you all know I might not survive it. One day Captain T.T. came and stole my sweet little innocent boy and replaced him with a tantrum throwing, screaming, hitting gremlin. I had heard all kinds of horror stories about babies morphing into these kind of little creatures, but had not ever experienced it. As the oldest grandchild in both sides of my family I have spent a lot of time around other children and not one of my relatives had ever suffered from a case of the Terrible Two’s, until my son…

Mateo is an incredibly loving, sweet little boy who loves to hug and give kisses, play with other kids in the park, loves animals, has a newfound love of babies, is Toy Story’s biggest fan, and his own biggest fan as well HAHA. He is smart, inquisitive, and always looking for a game to play. BUT in between all his precious moments is nothing but trouble.

I’m definitely not one of those parents to sit around and lie to you and talk about how perfect my son is; how he’s a genius, how he acts perfectly and only does perfect things, and my favorite of them all “My child would never….” (famous last words). I am alllll about the cold hard truth, so here it is…

Tommy and I, and my mother who is a saint and watches him during the day for us, are those people with the annoying kid. There is absolutely no getting around it, that’s us. Mateo throws tantrums on the floor of every place we are in when he doesn’t get his way, if we even think of saying the word no to him, or if he just feels like it, it seems. He doesn’t cooperate for a split second, says no to everything we tell him, and is just plain bratty. I think the word “No” holds no meaning to him anymore because we say it so much.

Does it suck? BIG TIME!!!! We are the King and Queen’s of Time-Out and the following phrases: “No Mateo”, “Take that out your mouth”, “Put that back”, “Do not even think about it!”, “Stop whining”, “Don’t you dare throw that”, “Pick that up!”, and “Do you want Time Out Mateo?”. There are moments that you’ll do anything, give him anything just so he can stop and behave for 5 seconds, but in that little minute you have to stop yourself. If we give in even once we’re setting a precedent; leading him to believe that if he acts bratty enough he will get his way. I do not believe in spanking even though a lot of people tell me it will be a cure-all, so thus far I have avoided the spank in favor of other methods.

If we were the kinds of parents who gave him whatever he wanted and let him do whatever he wanted I’d have to live with the fact that he acted so ridiculously, but we’re not. My mother is not the “spoil your grandchild” kind of person. She’s just as strict and organized with him as she was with my sister and I. This brings me to the whole nature vs. nurture theory. I was raised a certain way and acted a certain way because of it and because of my natural personality. My mom had us on a very strict schedule, we knew what we were going to do every day because it was the same as the day before. We got up, we ate, we played, we napped, we ate again, we played, we ate, we bathed, and we went to bed. We listened to our mother, she could take us anywhere because we always listened (besides little things like me throwing a tantrum for lip gloss in Rockbottom, my sister hiding in clothes racks in Sterns, and running away at the beach to chase a seagull HAHA), but we were essentially good kids. As we grew up my sister became very rebellious, but I didn’t and even though we were raised exactly the same our respective personalities emerged. When I hear stories about Tommy it’s very different. Everyone who knew them since they were born or young says the same thing…him and his brother were WILD! Now they were raised different than me and had a completely different home life/lifestyle so that was obviously a huge component, but I think personality counts too. So is Mateo just prone to naughtiness?!

We have tried what seems like everything with Mateo. I have even asked the pediatrician what we can do and they just tell me to keep doing what I’m doing and not to give up, that he has a “strong personality” and seems like he is going to give us a run for our money…how inspiring, right? The doctor did tell us that his delayed speech contributes a lot to his frustration and I understand that, but good Lord is it frustrating! There are days when we’ve been forced to go shopping with him that he will literally scream like he is being attacked the ENTIRE time. Even doing something simple can be difficult these days..going to the park he wants to be carried, not walk or go in the stroller, we take the bus and he wants to walk up and down the aisle so he screams when I say no, we go to the store and he wants everything he sees and cries when I say no, he won’t sit in the shopping cart, etc.

Sometimes I feel like we must be the worst parents in the world or our kid is just nuts, until I’m around other mom’s who tell me their stories of their “Terrible Two” that is either worse than mine or just the same and then I feel somewhat better. Are there mistakes we’ve made that contribute to some of his bratty behavior? Definitely. Are there days where I just might give him something he wants to prevent another tantrum even though I shouldn’t? Sadly, yes. Our next step is to begin the process of trying to be more disciplined with him, to get him on a extremely regimented schedule so as to not have too much time without something to do, to get him out of our bed and into his own, and to try and get him potty trained. I would love to wake up tomorrow and have all these things done, but that’s impossible especially as a working mom.

Everyone who has experienced similar situations with their children tell me it’s going to go as fast as it came, that there will be a moment where he just clicks into place, let me tell you I wake up every morning hoping that day is today! In the meantime we have to try our hardest. In the times where I want to pull out my hair, or just take a freakin nap and tell him to just sit down and behave for a second I always have to check myself and remember he is just a baby, there is no reasoning with him, because of his delayed speech he can’t communicate his frustrations, so we have to learn how to deal. Don’t get me wrong there are days when bedtime comes I’m glad to kiss him and put him to bed and just sit down or take a shower, but he’s my son and I love him and all we can do is work through this frustrating stage. Hopefully soon enough he will be less Gremlin and more nice boy, we’re working on it!

ATTN: LADIES!

I am not even going to lie…I have turned into a Twihard overnight! I, for one am Team Edward; not only do I love myself an Englishmen, but I find Robert Pattinson particularly intriguing. He’s beautiful, English, can sing, play piano and guitar, and he’s English…did I mention that already? Anyway, there’s a point to my admission of Twihard-ness…WHYYY?????!!! I have only skimmed the books in recent weeks and as a well read person I can say this…the writing in these books is so incredibly elementary, uncreative, beyond unrealistic, and completely predictable. A vampire with the ability to impregnate, really? With all of this being said why has the Twilight Saga, a series geared at impressionable 13 year old girls become such a smash hit? Are we so vapid, starved for true romance, or delusional? A combination of all three? Who knows. All I have to say is this…
From the weeks building up to the latest movie (Breaking Dawn: Part 1) and the weeks after it’s release all you see online, and on Facebook is everyone going on and on about this insipid love triangle. I am not above this as I, myself have blathered on about my “love” for Edward, sat on line for an hour to see the movie, and bought the soundtrack. BUT I know it’s just a unrealisitic, fluff story, in fact I love it because it is so ludicrous, BUT scaringly enough A LOT of people don’t.
This Twilight phenomenon has gone out of control with Twimom’s who are, on average, a group of 40+ women fawning over a 16 werewolf or shape shifter (whatever he is) and an 18/109 year old vampire. Does this not frighten you? It frightens me. These mom’s are so out of control that I’ve read they’re sending underwear and love letters to the actors. Creepy much?  As an adult we should understand and be past all this ridiculous, endless, “I will die for you” love bullshit. If you’re a mom who loves this book please let it be for the same reason I love it and not because you’re looking for your Jake/Edward. Do you really think a teenager is deeper than how cute you are and how desperate they are to have sex and to have someone to like them? Trust me folks there are no Jacob’s and Edward’s in your high school, in your office, in the bar you’re hanging out in on the weekend, or anywhere else for that matter!!!
Why does Hollywood or these fantasy love stories lead us to believe or yearn for this unattainable so-called love? Aren’t we smarter than that? What are we teaching our daughters? If we lead them to believe that this is the kind of love they should be looking for they are going to be some sad, lonely, disappointed people. Not to mention that if any person claims to have these Twilight feelings for you, you should run very fast because he is a creepy stalker who will kill you in your sleep in some jealous rage!! I am a die hard romantic and would love to live in a world where some guy gives Edward’s speech at my wedding and says all these “profound” romantic things, to have someone willing to die for me at any given moment, etc., but if you really think about it it’s a little bit scary/over the top. If you are going to be a fan of the Twilight Saga you should realize that this kind of love only exists in fairytales and that’s where it belongs! I squeal like a little girl when I watch the movies and my heart flutters every time Edward or Jake says something sweet, and loving to Bella, but do I expect Tommy to be my Edward? hahahaha NO WAY!!! I know Edward is just a character in a book that caters to the 13 year old innocent, clueless little girl inside me.
When you catch yourself dreaming and fantasizing about finding your Jake or Edward (Eddie, as I affectionately call my fantasy boyfriend ROFL) you need to stop yourself. Real love is not about these ridiculous “romantic” gestures. Do you really want someone appearing in your room while you’re asleep, or reading your mind, or tracking you down by scent, or all the drama that comes with a love triangle, or killing you so you can be together forever? If you want any of the aforementioned I suggest you stop reading this and seek intensive therapy for your issues!!!
What is it that we lack, haven’t been taught or have been taught that makes us believe that these kinds of “I will cease to live if I’m not with you” relationship exists? Is this why women are so incredibly disappointed? Is the divorce rate so high because women have unreal expectations of love and relationships? Maybe it’s time for us to re-evaluate. Get a grip on reality ladies! You nor I am Bella Swan and why would you want to be anyway? Let’s enjoy it for what it is, let’s not search for our Jake and Edward or else we will be alone forever. If you believe you have one than more power to you! (If you ask me I think you are blind and clueless and heading towards a fast and furious reality check/major disappointment, but ok if that’s what get’s you through the day).
I know people might label me as being cynical and I’m not at all. I am an everyday romantic just like every other woman, but I am also a realist. I was not raised to believe my knight in shining armor would ride up to Whitestone on a horse to find me. I was raised to expect what is necessary in a relationship and to see love and all it’s fancy things for what they are. We might love a few different people in this life because they feed something in us at the moment. Not every single one of these relationships will last and that doesn’t make the love any less real. I don’t believe in one true love because as human beings we are ever evolving. Who we are today we might not be next year or the year after. We always hope that we grow together, but that’s not always the case. I am getting married soon, but it’s not because I think I will die without Tommy’s love or because I think he is the only human being in existence that could ever make me happy. True love is one that makes you be a better version of yourself, calls you on your shit, who accepts your flaws and highlights your strengths, who supports you in good and bad, who makes you think, who stands by you. Maybe this person(s) doesn’t always clean up after themselves, maybe you hate the way they dress, maybe they haven’t even always been faithful (I know this will cause a riot), but really those are all nuances. What you need to know is that this person has always been there EVERYTIME you’ve needed them, this person has been your support system no matter what, hasn’t added any unnecessary nonsense to you life in this already complicated world. We aren’t perfect, we all screw up, and we can’t be characters in this over the top love story like we’d theoretically like to be.
So in conclusion all my fellow Twihards, Twimoms and in between…love somebody, love then deeply, passionately, endlessly BUT remember when you’re sitting down engrossed in these books and movies that love like this is so ridiculous and non-existant, it’s made just for fantasy, not reality. When you find yourself literally yearning for a love like that of a 109/18 year old vampire, his 16 year old werewolf rival and their common interest (the ever so awkward Bella) you know you’ve crossed a line into delusional and now need mental help…

To have and to hold from this day forward….

I’m in the midst of planning a wedding. When people think of weddings they think of all the fun stuff that comes along with it like picking out a beautiful dress to wear, picking out decorations and favors, and of course the great party you want to plan. BUT that is not what is important about a wedding!! The things behind a wedding are what’s important, the man, the woman, the marriage, the families. We spend so much time worrying about colors, bridesmaid’s dresses and hairstyles that you forget to examine the real reason behind all the festivities. Why do we get married? Why do we marry who we do? Why are we so eager to have a happy ending? I’m not trying to get all Carrie Bradshaw on you guys, but it’s a legitimate thought…I’ve wanted to be a mother and wife for as long as I can remember. I spent my childhood playing Mommy and wife with my sister, my two best friends, and our dolls and always talked about my wedding and the amazing man who I’d be lucky enough to call my husband.  I thought it was a sweet fairytale and that’s not reality. One day you start to grow up and you see what it really is. I’m the child of divorced parents and the child of a woman who taught me to be a free-thinker, who never sheltered us from anything, and who taught me what real life is. I was born 40 years old, wise beyond my years which is sometimes great and sometimes not. So when I became interested in boys and then when the option of marriage came up for me I wasn’t dreaming about my prince on the white horse. There is no perfect human being, marriage is an imperfect thing, a job, as any relationship is. When I thought/think of marriage it is out of practicality, to build a family. If I didn’t want children I’d most likely never marry if I’m being honest. I’m marrying because I have a child and want to continue to form a family. Marriage wasn’t created for all the bullshit reasons people say, it’s not just between a man and a woman, we don’t all marry our soulmate, we don’t all marry for the right reasons. If you ask me my philosophy on marriage this is what it is…I believe that marriage is a foundation for creating and maintaining a family, for security, a lifelong committment to one another even if you do get divorced when children are involved. This is why you need to be careful who you choose. Remember that when you marry someone you marry their family and ALL their baggage. You have to have common values and goals. And this is where the problems lay…In my case I was never looking for the person who was “the best part of my day”, I’m not that kind of girl at all. I wasn’t looking at all quite honestly, I was only 15 when I met my fiance, I was a kid. I didn’t even really care about boys like that when I was 15, all  I cared about was school and if my mom would let me go to the movies with my friends haha. I didn’t marry him when I was pregnant because that’s no reason to have a shotgun wedding to me; anyone can father a child. After I saw him with our son is when I decided that I would marry him. Would I be marrying him if we didn’t have our son? Who knows. I’m 22 I wasn’t looking to get married for a few more years, but I’m not marrying him just because, I’m marrying him for the sake of our family, because it works for us, BUT that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Here are my top three issues…

Issue #1: You have to live together-My fiance is a slob! He leaves a trail of messes behind him everywhere he goes, he likes to eat in bed and watch TV, his favorite place to leave leftover food is in the microwave, and he’s a bathroom/quilt hogger. I’m no walk in the park either, though…I tend to leave my makeup/hair products all over the bathroom, I leave my shoes everywhere and I use about 30 cups a day. He’s not used to the fact that we all like to sit together in the living room to talk, he’s used to everyone just sitting in their room doing their own thing. I’m not used to having a TV in my room because I was barely allowed to even watch TV as a kid. These are two things that we’ve learned to be accustomed to and I’ll admit I like the Tv sometimes and he”ll admit that he likes our late night family meals and talks. We all have our annoying home habits and we might think nothing of it, but getting used to living together is actually pretty hard.

Issue #2: Families- When you marry someone you marry EVERYTHING that comes along with them, yup it’s true no one is safe from this. Even if you both have the greatest families in the world you’re bound to have conflict just because of the sheer fact that every family has their own way of functioning. What’s normal to you isn’t normal to me. Some people might have bigger problems than simple differences like I do, but we won’t get into all of that…but for me this is the toughest part about getting married. This here is my sacrifice for him, for our little three person family. This is wherein most of our problems are for many different reasons that are out of his control and therefore out of mine. He was dealt different cards then I was and his situation has made me appreciate my parents tenfold, and has made us as a couple and as parents ten times stronger. That’s all I will say along with the fact that this is sometimes the part that people forget, but it should not be ignored!

Issue #3: Committment/Trust/Loyalty– Are we each other’s favorite person everyday? Do we roll over every morning and look at each other with hearts in our eyes? NO way, that isn’t reality. Now if you’re rolling over every morning stifling the urge to punch the other person in the face you’ve got bigger problems. You need to be in this for the long haul whether you stay married forever or not. You are a family and will always be attached to this person when you have a child with them. Nothing makes me sicker than seeing divorced people who put their squabbles before their children. If you have no committment and trust you have nothing. The things that get you through the days where you want to ring each others necks and even the days when you are blissfully happy are your level of committment to one another. I know when I go home that he’ll be there, he knows when he needs something I’m there to do it. I know when I need someone to have my back he will and vice versa, it’s loyalty, tried and true loyalty. Most importantly we know that our number one priority is our son. Nothing comes before him and nothing comes before the three of us as a unit. From the simple committments to the large ones, they all matter. You have to be a person of your word because without that you are nothing. Your family is the only place where you have or should have 100% accountability. This is where you should feel 100% secure.

Men and women are different creatures, we don’t see eye to eye on many things. Women think with their brains, but mostly with their hearts. Men think with their brains, but mostly their genitals (and that isn’t always about cheating). I like reality tv and gossip magazines, history, world news, a good book, cafes, and shopping. He loves sports, sports, music, tv, sports, and fast food. But somewhere in all that we love each other too because we give each other something that we desire. What works for you doesn’t work for me and what works for me doesn’t work for you, but marriage is a job. You have to work at your relationship everyday to maintain it and to make it grow. Nothing is perfect and there will be bumps in the road and one day you might grow apart and not be married anymore but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. A successful marriage is one that breeds good things, one where you laughed and cried, brought beautiful children into this world, and grew together, not one that stood the test of time. You could be married for a great 12 years or for a painful and miserable 50. We all want our marriages to last forever because that’s the ideal situation,  i know I do, but if I think realistically what I want is happiness, a good life for my son, stability and reliabilty. I need someone to laugh with, someone to correct me when I’m wrong, someone to take me out to a good movie and dinner, someone who highlights my strengths and accepts my flaws.

So after all of that am I excited for my wedding? Yea. I’m excited for the perfect dress I found, I’m excited to celebrate with my family and friends, I’m excited for the dancing and pictures, but that’s not the important part, it’s just a bonus. I have to be confident that that’s not the only reason I’m doing this, I have to know that in reality that’s all fluff. In a world where over 50% of marriages end in divorce you want to be the exception to the rule or at least try your best and I feel like that’s what I’m doing. Is there a magic marriage age? Is there a magic marriage formula? No. I’ve seen people who marry at the “right” age after having traveled the world, dated all sorts of people, accomplished all sorts of thing and their marriages still fail. Do I feel like I have more against me than tha average couple? No. I try to learn from everyone around me, I try to learn from the failed marriages I’ve witnessed and hopefully I’m making the right decision. I’m confident that I am. There will always be naysayers and people with bullshit opinions, but if everyone picked apart other marriages I’m sure they’d find something to criticize and the people who aren’t married or close to it, you have to pity their ignorance because when it’s their turn you should only hope they don’t have as many foolish critics.

Welcome to the Blogosphere…

I thought I needed a new outlet. Something that’s just mine to let out all my random thoughts. Something that doesn’t talk back to me when I want to vent. Something that doesn’t scream “MAMA” at me…Describe me in one word? Impossible. I’m a million different people in one, but where do I begin? I think I’ll introduce myself bit by bit and we’ll start here…My number one priority, my main reason for being, and the thing that drives me everyday is my duty as mother, my son. I became a mother at age where all my peers were hitting the local bars that let underage kids in, vacationing on the Jersey Shore, in between studying for the millionth midterm for our junior year of college. I was 20 years old. People have all sorts of opinions/judgments depending on who they are and how they represent this so-called “feeling”, but they know absolutely nothing at all. When you find yourself in such an unexpected situation as I did, you learn that everything you knew/thought before is, pardon my French, bullshit. Everything I believed in, thought to be true, planned, went out the window. Oddly I found it humbling and grounding, it truly showed me that life happens when you’re making plans. I had to learn to just go with it, that I couldn’t live forever by “my” rules/written down plans. In my mind I was going to graduate college, get my master’s degree, become engaged to Prince Charming at 23, married at 25, travel the world, get a good job, buy a house, and then a baby by 30…and we all see how well that went…I had to learn to ignore all those judgmental idiots because the fact that they were judging meant they knew nothing at all, and ironically the people who were judging the most have the most for you to judge back, worse than anything I could have done, but that’s a whole other story… I was not the cliche teen screw-up. I was a straight A (sometimes B+ haha) student, honor society, community service, home when my mom said so. I, let alone my parents never expected this to happen. I wasn’t some kind of teen misfit, I was your everyday “good girl”. I had the same boyfriend from high school, I didn’t have a reputation (if you know what I mean), and I worked full-tme and went to school full-time. I was heading straight towards my goals, doing everything I thought I needed to do to get where I wanted to go within the parameter of my “plan”. Then BOOM, the bomb dropped and everything I thought I knew went straight out the window…February 22, 2009…the day life as I knew it ended…I had 8 months to figure it out. Fast forward to October 10, 2009 the day that my son, the love of my life, my greatest joy, Mateo Sun was born at 9:12 am at a healthy 7lbs 12oz. I was instantly in love, all the cliche’s about when you first see your child came true. It made it seem like nothing in the world before this day mattered, he was it. As I struggled with all the typical new mom things like getting the hang of breast feeding, not sleeping a wink, and the odd up an down emotions of the first few months I was loving it. I knew people were disappointed by my situation, I knew all the PTA mom’s from my elementary school were talking all their catty gossip that would get back to me, my old friends mothers would call each other to gossip, but I had to keep it all out of my head. Shockingly and not shockingly at the same time, people that had been a part of my life for eternity left and some stuck around. Most of my friends didn’t understand my new life, but the one’s that stuck by me are gems. I was sad for the loss of relationships, really sad actually. Sad that the people that I wanted to stick by me the most didn’t, but I had to move on. My new family was what I was about. I was not going to be that young mother who leaves their newborn baby to go out for a bar crawl on a Saturday night (nor would anyone related to me support that!). I made a committment to be a mother 100%. My son deserves to have the same parenting that I received from my mother. I was not and am not the stereotypical young mother. I raise my son, nobody else, I stay up with him at night when he’s sick, I breast fed him exclusively till he was one, I’m the one who makes him his health conscious meals, I’m the one he looks for when he’s sad, scared, or hurt. I’M his mother. I do the same things a 30 year old mom would do, I make the same new parent mistakes (like letting him sleep in our bed!!). I NEVER left him once till he was 9 months old. I didn’t return to work until he was 15 months old and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. In a nutshell and I guess the point of this post is to show people that you can’t judge things you know nothing about, not everyone is the same, things like this happen to the best of us and you just got to grab hold of the situation. Is being a 22 year old mother the ideal situation? Would I be thrilled if it were my child? No way in hell!! But it is what it is and I’m happy and I’m still accomplishing the things I wanted in life, but with an extra passenger. I don’t get to pick up and go out for random night on the town, I don’t get to hit A.C for the weekend at a moments notice, I don’t get to sleep till 1 in the afternoon anymore, BUT I get to come home to the most beautiful face in the world at night and watch him grow and explore and become this inquistive, sweet little boy everyday. I am not a failure, my life isn’t a tragedy like some people like to label it, I am not a whore (I’ve slept with one guy), I’m the same person I was B.C. (before child), I’m Natalia just like I always was. My son has a father who adores him and who he adores just as much and our situation might be more complicated than the average, but we’re a family nonetheless and what’s normal anyway? The only difference is I have a different last name than my two guys until next July when we get married.
And I guess that’s it for blog post one, let’s see what pops up next. I think this so-called “blogatherapy”, like I decided to call it is going to work great for me.