When you wake up to a phone call at 4 am, naturally you freak out a tiny bit. And then when your mom comes sobbing into your room, inconsolably panicking, you wish you could just pause, stop, go back in time and prepare for the words that were to come next.
I don't wish that moment upon anyone. But those that have experienced it know very clearly, that no matter how strongly you accept the fact that we all must leave this earth one day and return to our Creator, when it happens...it just happens. And you just sit there, convinced that your shattered heart will never be whole again. I'm certain my mom felt that way. In fact, I know she still does.
My grandmother Nunni passed away this past Wednesday and just typing those few words is making me cold. But the only way I know how to deal with things is through pen and paper, but in this case my keyboard. I cannot process it still, I feel like it's a long nightmare that keeps pressing the snooze button for me. I'm not sure when things will start to hurt less or when I'll fully understand why things like this happen, but today I'm sure I miss her more than I've ever missed anything in my entire life. I've been powering through my feelings for the past couple of days for the sake of mom. She can barely wipe her own tears, you know?
This morning she held the phone tightly and said, "I can't call her anymore." It was so so so so sad you guys. I can't even explain it!
Personally, I haven't cried as much as I want to. I don't know if I should proceed in that way but I think it's fine.
I've been feeling a lot of deep emotions since the news broke and not just on the surface, like real intense ones. Heavy and fragmented, confused and kind of lost. As someone who wants to be and tries to be a spiritual person, I get irritated at myself when I don't access the tools I should. Things like surrender, trust, faith...just being okay with whatever happens because they say it happened for a reason. I don't know if I'm okay with it. Actually no, of course I'm not.
I wish I could just hug her one more time and convince her to be on my side when I deliberately tease my brother out of boredom. I want to watch her pray and clean her hands in a little water bowl. And sit beside her and count her "hand veins." I did that so much as a child, now that I think of it I was such a weirdo.
But instead of drowning in my tears today, after breakfast I sat next to my mom and kindly asked her to please tell me stories. I have my own, lots and lots of beautiful stories of my own. But I wanted to hear how Nunni dealt with loss herself, so maybe I could steal some pointers.
I don't think anyone is ever okay with losing a loved one. It isn't easy to comprehend in the first place and then you have to accept the reality of moving on. Nunni was the most gracious person I ever knew. She never resented anything that happened to her, and a lot happened. If only people on the outside knew. She took life so lightly and reminded me to always always thank God for what I have right now when I have it. And then when I no longer have it, I still have to be grateful for having had it once. And that's not what the collective, ambiguous "they" said, it's how my Nunni lived.
If I'm trying to find the light in the dark, if I'm going to be okay....then if anything, this experience proved to me that I want to be just like her.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Just because you've pulled an all-nighter and ended up dozing off with mascara on doesn't mean you have to show it. That sticky feeling is the worst, but what’s even worse is that it actually happens more than we'd like to admit. And then waking up from that unsatisfying sleep is nothing less than an icky, cold and a “why me?!?” feeling.
BUT! (there’s always a but) You can fake it. You can walk out that door and be the envy of your fellow all-nighters. You can still look awake and fresh. Oh I love the word fresh. It reminds me of clean, white linen doused in cotton scented Febreeze. And you can pretend that’s exactly the scene you woke up in. All you need is tea. On your face! Under your eyes.
I don’t exactly remember where I read this little remedy, but it was a long time ago. All I know is that it works and I've kept it a secret all this time. Just kidding, I'm pretty sure the world is ten steps ahead.
To fake it:
Steep a few bags of caffeinated tea and pop them in the fridge. I use either a pure green tea, or a green tea with ginger. It doesn't matter too much- what’s important is the caffeine. After a few minutes you’ll have a cooling, invigorating eye treatment that will disguise a whole host of sins. You just take the cold tea bag and gently press it against your under-eye and along your cheekbone. The caffeine in the tea will increase circulation and de-puff those heavy eyes. It’s not magic- unfortunately we won’t become a dewy masterpiece the minute the tea bag hits our face. It will make you feel awake though! Also it's super resourceful and so quick.
It’s meant to de-puff, and de-puff is what it does. De-puff if beginning to sound less and less like an actual word.
“Oh yeah, rough night.” Just keep nodding while they stare and refrain from touching your face.
ps: If you've found something else that works too, do share! Also, yogurt is a face gem. But that's for another time! I'm still experimenting with the additions of honey and lime.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Happy February friends! Well, four days in but I still wish upon you happiness. Goodness, it's so strange to me that we've written 2014 on our papers for an entire month already. It's scary, no? Just when I thought, okay okay it's a new year to slow down and restart and get it together all over again, time smacks me square in the face. But fine, in defense of time- I am being a tad dramatic.
I drew this last week as part of my project 365 on instagram where I take a picture a day, for 365 days. Day 22 was swamped. Deadlines and deadlines and the tedious things that make life horrible just because. And not just a bad hair day, although it is most definitely a viable excuse to declare a day "bad." However, I had a spectacular cup of honey lemon ginseng green tea that night and poof! Life was good.
Ever since I was little, I've kind of been obsessed with the whole yin and yang thing. I'd doodle it everywhere, including my hands and my wall. (Yes, my mom freaked out a few times.) The idea of balance is so brilliant, and maybe that sounds blahh and painfully enthusiastic but I'm really trying to see it that way. We don't realize how often we toy with the good and the bad simultaneously.
It's because of one we see the other.
Here would be an excellent place to insert that wide-eyed emoticon followed by a light bulb. I don't mean to beat this notion to the grave, I just think there are a few things in life we don't notice, especially when we spill coffee on ourselves. I think it's important to spill a hot latte on your new jacket once in a while so you don't get too crazy and start parading around with a "my life is the best!" post-it note on your forehead. But hey, if you do anyways, good for you. And sorry that seems co-opted by sarcasm. I'm not being snarky.
Like yin, it's good for "bad" days to exist so her counter part, yang is that much more appreciated. Notice I used "her" for yang. I read somewhere that Yin characterizes the feminine or negative nature of things and yang stands for the masculine or positive side. But I'm hardly qualified to extensively discuss ancient Chinese culture, so I'll just stick with my "good" and "bad."
We need both. It's not the end of the world if something bad happens. Not to say that you should power through (God forbid) a tragedy with a smile! Not at all. Maybe it's enough to realize that the good will come to your rescue soon. Good wouldn't exist without bad, and bad wouldn't exist without good. *forces hand away from keyboard*