Silver Platters and moving on

Owl totem. Mixed media on paper. For purchase inquiries, please contact me.

Becoming a parent means forever changing your focus in life. It means that your perspective in life will change, and you will view the world differently. If you are an active person in your child’s life, it means that the reason you wake in the morning is because of your children. You wake up and go to your shitty job, and smoke cigarettes only with the window all the way rolled down, because of your children. Saturday mornings don’t mean sleeping until 12 then nursing a hangover. It means waking up at 8 am, to make pancakes and eggs and hashbrowns or pancakes and bacon. It means you shift your focus. You can’t whine about how much your life sucks or expect everything to be handed to you. It won’t. And truth be told, though your friends may care, they have their own shit to deal with and often do not have time to nurse your fragile ego.

So why is it that some adults expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter? Are we creating a society of white privilege, where people have been lead to believe that it is okay NOT to work, and just sit on your ass and expect the whole of the world to come to you and nurse you with their tit? Since when have these masses of people come to believe that it is quite alright to sit and do nothing, amassing monies handed to you by the government, while being given everything, and never having to work a day in your life?

When I don’t work, I get depressed. If I stay in my New Jersey studio apartment too long, I get depressed. I will be forthright: I have suffered from various forms or levels of depression most of my life, and have sought help when needed. But I know what works for me and what makes me feel better. I’d rather be happy. I’d rather not want to do what Anthony Bourdain did to himself. I’d rather look at the flowers that bloom, and appreciate the sun. I would rather sit with my family and have a good meal of Biftek con Papa Fritas (Steak and French Fries, Boriqua style). Add a little mix of equal parts mayonaise and ketchup, and you’ve got love on a plate. Food. Food and laughter and family is what creates in me this need to better myself. It makes me want to get up and go. The smile on my daughter’s face when I present her with a nice meal, the laughter on my youngest daughter, when I tell stories about things I did as a teen….these are the stuff of life. These are the things that make life absolutely delicious.

Life and all of it’s beauty does not come from the need to put others down. It does not come to you handed on a silver platter, nor is it driven to you nor does it go out of it’s way for you to notice it. Life is beautiful. But true beauty does not go out of it’s way to be noticed. Real beauty is noticed from afar. This is not a cliche moment, where I say beauty comes from within. You should already know that. This is when I say that you need to get up and move your body, and take walks, do yoga, plant flowers, take a long hot shower, have pizza with your friend, and if you have none, ask yourself why that is. The secret to enjoying life is the actual getting up off of your arse, and actually appreciating the earth.

So why is it that so many these days expect happiness to come straight to them? When did we become a society, where confidence is mistaken for arrogance? I will not coddle you. I will not sit and baby you, I will expect you to get up and help yourself. I will give you tools to help you better yourself, and just because I can help myself through depression or through the illness of fibromyalgia, of which I have suffered for 20 years now, just because I can get up and not whine and complain, does not mean I am not ill. It means I learned how to be an adult, and move on my own. I learned how to grow up.

If you are to be my friend, and if we are to do this dance through life, please be happy with your life, and be happy with who you are. I cannot entertain you if you are not happy with yourself, because all that will happen, is that you will drag me down in the mud with you, and that is not what I want to do with my life. That is not what I want. I have fought too hard and gone through too much hell and high water to allow anyone to drag me down in the mud with them.

I am not an enemy for not feeling sorry for you. I heard the reasons why you are depressed. I’d like to hear the reasons you have to be happy and grateful for. Sometimes the record gets scratched, and the song repeats over and over and over, and sometimes….sometimes you have to get up and change the record.

It’s okay to sit and cry about something for a minute, but don’t stay there too long. I know how depression works. It’s like a cancer. It spreads and takes over but it does so when you entertain it. Move beyond the depression. Keep going. Get dressed anyway. Take a shower anyway. Go out anyway. Exercise anyway. Laugh anyway.

Real friends do not coddle.

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