Happy 51st!

Did I get dumped on my birthday? Some might say that is questionable.
Do I feel like I got dumped on my birthday? YES!

It was going to be a beautiful day today and I guess it still will be. But, I cried today.

I cried today, like a lot, because of love. Children of Alcoholics only want be loved. We never truly felt loved by our parents. So deep down inside of us we’ve never had it unless we found it later on in our teenage years, or 20s, or 30s, or 40s. But I’m 51. I’ve been involved. I’ve had relationships, but I’ve never been with somebody that truly loved me or wanted to be committed to me. The two relationships I had, only one called me his girlfriend toward the end of our relationship and the other use to joke to others about me being his wife, but never had ever talked to me about a commitment. But neither of these, were the type of relationships where you date, officially make it exclusive (probably because if they were caught seeing other people they could say that we weren’t really a couple. One did say that to me!), and ever even led to the words, I love you. So, for five decades, well, maybe the last 20 years, I learned to love myself. My son also loved me and my family loved me as much as they could with their own dysfunction and definition of what love is. But, as I learned what true love is and being loved was, I wanted it.  The only true love I’ve ever felt is from my son. And, there’s a human part of us that needs someone else to love us besides ourselves and our own family.

grace lozadaSo, my birthday is going to be a full day of fun. I’m going to ride my bike to have lunch with my son and his girlfriend at the beach and have dinner with a longtime girlfriend that I’ve known since we were teenagers. I will still do these things, even though I am upset. But like most birthdays, a part of me didn’t want to be alone tonight. So, I texted someone that I’ve been seeing and talking to for a few months now. No, I don’t want a relationship with him, maybe down the road, but I do like him. I like him a lot and I don’t get like this over many men I meet. I do like spending time with him. If I could change a few things about him, he’d definitely be somebody I truly wanted in a person. After we first met, he said that he wasn’t looking for a relationship at that time, which was fine with me until I met him. The vibe was good, the conversation was good, who he was and his interests were were good. I was kind of taken back by it clicking so well between us. Overtime I realized it was the qualities that I liked and wanted in a man. I enjoyed keeping in touch with him. So until that person, my person, showed up with hopefully some of the same qualities and engagement, he had, he would do – I thought! But, I did like him a lot. So, this birthday morning I text him to see what he was up to tonight, and I got this long winded text about how we couldn’t see each other anymore, that he was looking for serious relationship now, and wanted to build on that and having a family of his own, etc. etc. I loved his honesty and thanked him for it. But as soon as our text ended, I started to cry. And then I started to cry some more. The crying wasn’t because he wasn’t available. At that very moment it was because why couldn’t someone like him, or anybody decent, have ever come along in my life.

I was yet reminded again of what I don’t have and what I’ve never had. I am beginning to resent the 7 1/2 years I wasted on someone in my 20s into early 30s. I knew I was never going to make a future with that guy, but I wasted so many years on him. The resentment is huge at times like this. And there is this little smart, healed, part of my intellect that knows even if I didn’t waste those years on that guy that I still wasn’t ready to have a decent, respectful, loving, nurturing, kind man in my life. But, the resentment and the time wasted is still there. And then for 6 1/2 years after that, I didn’t date or meet anyone. I was too busy raising my son on my own and trying to unravel that relationship. I was trying to learn from it. And then after all that time, I got involved with an addict and for a year and a half it was great at times and it was turbulent at times. Then he, that I thought was the love of my life (just if he could get sober like he had done before), and probably the only man I’ve really loved, died. And after that, I take another nine years gaining weight, not wanting to date, having intimacy issues because I don’t want to love another man, that I finally now get to the point that I can love again, want to be loved, and know what type of person I want in my life.

Life just seems to pass me by so quickly in this department. And the thing that brings me back to tears is that all I ever wanted was for someone to finally love me in that way. To make it official, to try to be my partner in life, to say, I love you and don’t want to be without you.

So, I’m not devastated over this guy (I don’t think. Well, maybe just a little.), but I’m just yet reminded again that there’s a little part of me that yearns for love like that and from someone like him.

Now it’s time to get myself together, I have to ride my bike out to the beach and meet up with my son and his girlfriend for lunch. The tears may flow, but I am trying to remind myself of how lovable I am, how beautiful life is, and how I will hold onto the fact that I believe, hope, my person will eventually find me.

birthday flowersIt hurts when time and time again though it feels like you keep getting your heart broken or you keep on falling short in the end of not getting that love that you want so badly. As a child of an alcoholic, a moment like this triggers all those unwanted feelings of no self-worth, no love, no value, and no nurturing that occurred in your childhood. Or, at least the inconsistency of it. You craved for any love from your parent or parents. You wanted to be enough. You wanted to be more important than the drug or the alcohol or the chaos. You just wanted to be loved. So when you feel like once again someone that you like doesn’t love you or like you enough to see what could develop, it brings up all those feelings. Even the, why not me. What is wrong with me, is asked.

Nothing is wrong with me. I know that. Yes, I’ve wasted a lot of time on people that didn’t deserve me or weren’t going to be healthy relationships anyway. Also, for so long I wasn’t healed when it came to this. I needed to unpack all that and learn from it, too. Also, like my girlfriend reminded me – I was handling shit; raising a child on my own and putting myself through school. Nothing is wrong with anybody. ACoAs (Adult Children of Alcoholics) are lovable and some can be the most giving and empathetic people out there because they have been through a lot. You may have done a lot of healing, you may have learned to love your inner child, you may know your own self-worth, but the fact is that it still hurts when someone turns away from you. Those feelings come back, even if it’s for like me, just for a few minutes or hours. But as a friend reminded me on this day, as I said to her and cried, it does get easier and it doesn’t hurt as bad or as long. relationship goals

I will hold onto this today – You know who you are! You know you’re lovable, you know you have strength that other people don’t have because they haven’t gone through the shit you have gone through, you know you have compassion and empathy and you know you have a lot of love to give. It’s just taking you a little longer to find love and the right person.

I will keep reminding myself that I wasn’t ready for a healthy relationship back then. I will stop resenting the time I wasted. I was healing, recovering, and just taking care of business.

Love will come. That healthy love that I deserve. I just have to have faith in that.

 

 

* This was written on Sunday, my actual birthday (March 7th). See previous post, https://wp.me/p4g3TO-uG to read about the guy that sent me the text written about in this blog post. I believe I’ve mentioned him in other posts prior, too. And by the way, he had no idea it was my birthday. He was very sweet and apologetic about what he was texting. Unfortunately for me, another sweet quality (thoughtfulness) he has.

#relationships #relationshipgoals #readyforlove #childrenofalcoholics

Overcoming Intimacy Issues after a Loss

Matt passed away in November of 2011. After his passing, within 2 years, I gained 30lbs. I was distraught and this was the time that I probably began with a new bought of depression. I hadn’t seriously been depressed in close to 15 years. The last time I had had suicidal thoughts was when Tupac died. Now it was the end of 2011 and I had lost the one man, the only man, I had ever seen as a possible husband.

A few years after his death, I tried to date. But it only surmounted to me getting pleasure for an instant. Sometimes I wouldn’t even let the man I was with finish. I was not equipped to open my heart again. I was fragile. I didn’t want to get close again to anyone. I didn’t want to fall for someone and ever feel the pain of them leaving, whether it be in death or just not wanting to be with me. I felt I couldn’t bare it. I also, somewhat, didn’t want to love another. I only wanted to love Matt until the day I died. Even if he was no longer here.

In 2018, the depression grew into suicidal thoughts. For months I walked through some of my days, inside and out, envisioning how I could hang myself. My son had moved out the year prior. Had graduated from UCLA, had a great job, and moved in with his girlfriend. I had been drifting in and out of accounting jobs and unemployment. I continuously was being taking to court by my son’s father to battle with him on the arrears in the child support he owed me. I had never really dealt with the emotional pain he had conflicted upon me and my son all those years. (He had never been in the picture or had helped financially). I was single and just hated where my life was. I wasn’t grieving as much anymore, but it did come back in waves. I don’t think I had dealt enough over losing Matt and all the other issues that were arising, that it all made my depression get to the point that I was now suicidal. Thankfully, I seeked helped toward the end of 2018 and by January 2019 I was back in therapy. I recovered from the depression and went to Adult Children of Alcoholic meetings for the first time in my life. I continued with my therapy and dove into my intimacy issues. I never really had intimacy issues before. Before Matt, I had not been fully open to a committed relationship, but I was always monogamous. Once I’d like a boy, I liked him and could see no other. But, my childhood kept me away from ever wanting marriage. I had thought and was scarred that I would have a relationship like my parents. It had only been until my late 30s, lots of therapy, lots of reading, and lots of self analyzing, that I knew it didn’t have to be the case with me. I am not the unhealed, volatile person my parents were. And then Matt happened.

As I continued my therapy, I dated. And little by little I got better.

Fist was the guy that I dated and as soon as we were intimate, things were different from the last men I had been with over these last few years. I wasn’t so keen on him I thought at first, but the sex was okay. I let him finish too and I loved finally sleeping next to someone. I liked how he would reach over for me, but as I told my therapist, I loved that feeling, just not from him. I dated him for a few months, but only had sex with him that one time in the beginning. In the end, there were some extreme anxiety issues and lying on his part that I ended that. The next time I was with someone, the sex was again good. I actually liked the bear hugs and touches in the night from him.  Progress! There was just an age issue. He was ten years younger and didn’t have kids yet, but wanted them. I was already in my late 40s. So, I ended that one, too. Both guys were quite upset or maybe pissed off at me that I ended it, but I saw things that either I or they would have problems with down the road.

Then a pandemic hit in March of 2020. Dating during a pandemic was not going to be easy. Dating had always been extremely difficult for me. But, now I had to now maneuver between being single, isolated, not catching a deadly disease, and swimming through a sea of online profiles where some men would take anyone, just not be alone, or some men that had no care in the world over catching COVID-19. I needed to find someone in the in-between. I met one man during the beginning of the riots and protests. I think I just needed an adult to hang out with, take in all that was being blasted over every t.v. channel and possibly see if there could be a connection that could lead into something. I wasn’t into him. He was the kind of guy that seemed good on paper, but we weren’t really compatible and I just wasn’t attracted to him. I went out to dinner with another man, obviously outdoor dining because that’s what you do during a pandemic. It didn’t go beyond that. I’m glad he wanted to see someone closer (he lived over an hour away) because during dinner he’d ask me questions, but would never let me finish answering them.

 

Then it was August. A few months into this world-wide crisis. I was still isolating by myself. Beach bike paths had opened back up, so I was spending my long weekends bike riding. I was working from home. I had only seen my son once, briefly. I hadn’t seen friends or any other family because we were all being safe. Online dating was going nowhere. I was on Bumble and subscribed, just to see who had swiped right. I couldn’t believe and was amused by all the younger guys that had swiped right. My history of who I’ve ever been involved with consisted of guys that were my age or only guys that were a few years older.

And there he was. Blondie. Some could say, he had a dark blonde or just blonde hair. Beautiful wavy hair. Nice eyes. Sweet lips. Drummer. I love musicians and love music. (And, Matt was a drummer). Cyclist. (I had gone from consistently biking, but not wanting to be a full cyclist for years, to now seeing cycling and cyclists as HOT). I liked the profile, but only thought to myself, at least maybe he could be a fling during these challenging times. Nothing more because he was way too young. A little more than 10 years younger. But, not too young to be my child! I wouldn’t be attracted to someone who looked like a boy. He was definitely a man.

We chose to have dinner at his place. He lived in downtown L.A. in one of those high rises that had great views of the mountains and westside. He sent me pics of the sunset as we text. I googled him just to make sure he was who he said he was. I went over. We talked and talked. I went over many times out on his balcony to take pictures. The first time I told him how, why, I was walking slowly because I was scarred of heights. He jokingly grabbed my arms like to nudge me closer to the edge. But it was just enough not to scare me and enough for him to touch me and grab me back. I like it. We ordered in. He had gone earlier to grab wine. While he had been trying to pick it up, he had texted me what kind I liked. He had gotten three different bottles because he wasn’t sure which I would like. We ate, talked for hours. It flowed so easily. He even mentioned how easy it was to talk to me and be around me. As it was getting late and I was getting ready to leave, he kissed me. That was it. I was in. It went better than I had expected it to. I liked his profile, but couldn’t imagine that I would like him like this. Like really like him. I hadn’t felt like this since Matt had passed. The next few days we texted. But, then it went sideways when one time he hadn’t text me back, not just immediately, but almost a whole day without texting me back. I text him that he could at least say he wasn’t interested instead of what I thought, he had ghosted me. He was confused. Said he was out of town. And, then I didn’t hear anything for over a month. I can’t remember how we got back in touch. Maybe it was because I was searching again for a website designer. The night we spent together, he had mentioned that he also did websites, among other things. I told him that I had needed someone to redesign mine. As he redesigned my website, he started flirting again. We continued flirting over the phone and I asked him to come over many times. By November he had caught Covid-19. At least he thought it was Covid. I was getting tired of his calls and texts and me asking to come over that in December after another wanting to see me implying text, I said no more. I was fed up. I felt like I was begging. If he wanted to see me, he’d see me. He seemed upset. He had reminded me of all that he was going through the last few months (a lot of family issues), then he was sick, and all the stress he was under. Those were his last words to me then and that it sucks that he missed his chance. But that he would stop. Stop continuing this virtual flirting that I felt never went anywhere. He even apologized if he had made me upset.

We could be professional adults. We continued with my web design. Mostly through email and phone calls. When we spoke it was like speaking to a friend. Someone I had know for years. But, that is how it had always felt like with him. Even the first night we met. In the back of my head, or truly my heart, there was still an ache of wanting to see what could be.

When I like someone, I like someone. Not that madly in love kinda stuff. I just like what I like and when I like someone, I like someone. I don’t find it all the time. I’m very picky. But when I like someone, I want them around and want to nestled under them. And, I really like him. I was attracted to him. I liked everything I knew about him. I loved how we were together. It had taken me years to get here, but here I was. Recovered from my intimacy issues. Wanting him in my life, even though I agreed to him that we can keep it causal. He didn’t want a full blown relationship. I wanted anything I could get. Hoping that he’d eventually want a relationship with me. Even if it was for a few years.

relationshipsBut in the end, it didn’t work out. We had started talking again, flirting in the beginning of February. I had take a hiatus from online dating, but was back on. I sat back and thought of all the exposure I might be facing if I met someone for coffee, dinner, or a bike ride. What if I expose myself and the conversation sucks, what if the kissing sucks, what if the sex sucks. I opted to reach out to him. I made the first move by asking him if he was still single. He was. We texted over a week and then he finally came over. It was like six months had not passed. It was still like we had known each other forever. He left in the morning and I went on my bike ride. For more than two weeks there were some text messages. Then, I felt disengagement. I was again tired of chasing. Begging as I had put it the last time he was over. He said that he kinda liked it. I didn’t. I wanted to be wanted.

It’s okay that it ended. Yes, I am a little hurt and sad about it. I wish it could have been something more or that it lasted longer. And, he was so much more to me than what I said to a girlfriend recently. He was the first man in 9 years that I hoped, deep down, to have a relationship with. He was the first man that I no longer had intimacy problems with. He was the first man in a long time that I saw I could be compatible with and have a good, loving relationship with. When I think back on the brief time we spent, I will only think of it in the nicest of ways because it showed me my growth and healing and of the type of person I want in my life.

 

#readyforlove #findinglove #readyforarelationship

R.I.P. Dad

Rest in peace, Dad (12/9/1933 -12/22/2016)

So thankful for who you were and who you evolved to be.
“I love you so much, too.”

My dad was a man who had four girls, me being the youngest. He was a strong, funny, and sometimes quiet man. He was a man who loved football (soccer) and was a fan of Pelé. He liked the beach, the sun and fishing. He liked action-packed, old westerns and movies with Doris Day. He could cook the best Carbonara and Spaghetti Bolognese. He believed in education, family, and that a woman (especially his girls) could do anything a man could do.

By the time I was 3 years old, he made plans to move his family to the U.S. because of the government issues in Peru, but primarily for our education.

dad-and-me-in-peru   dad-n-me

My dad raised me to be a strong, independent woman. He showed me first hand equality between the sexes (Feminism). Besides being the primary bread-winner, he tended to his daughters. He cooked and showed me how to cook (‘if you love shrimp and bacon you have to learn to deal with being stung by the grease sometimes’). He cleaned around the house and he showed me how to take care of my cars. And, most importantly he taught me how to think for myself, that you needed to do the research-read, learn and find out things for yourself, instead of just listening to someone else or one person’s opinion. I’m sure all this helped me when I was left to be a single mother many years later.

My dad, unfortunately, was also co-dependent to my mother (she is an alcoholic). He kept his family together because he thought he was doing the right thing. He had loyalty and he sacrificed his life for my mom and us. In the end, he stuck by my mom because he could not give up on their vows and he knew what would possibly happen to her if there was no one there to take care of her. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him, even at the expense of losing touch with me back in 2011 because I could no longer accept my mom in my life. He thought that he was doing the right thing and I do not, nor did back then, blame him for the choices he made then and all our years. I realized, back in 2011, that it was okay because it was “their” journey together. Since 2011, I had only seen him once when my son graduated from high school.

My dad showed me in my lifetime, and especially in the last 20 years, that he was truly a loving man and a father that really did love me. Sometimes when you grow up in an alcoholic home, you aren’t quite sure how much the co-dependent parent loves you.

My dad showed me that he could have very deep conversations, expressing one another’s opinions and thoughts that were maybe contradictory to his daughter’s. My dad showed me that he could have these conversations with me that would never lead into an argument (that wasn’t the case many years earlier). I believe it was important for him to share some things with me and to also to really get to know me.

My dad showed me what a father should be after I had my son. The few months we lived together after I had my son, he stepped in-to let me eat, to sooth my son’s colic because I couldn’t, and to let me rest or just have a break.

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My dad showed me what it was to work hard, to never rely on a handout or rely on a man.

My dad showed me to move forward in life despite all the storms that life may throw your way.

I was told in the hospital before he passed that this last decade or so that he struggled with illnesses, like Leukemia, Diabetes, and Anemia that he wanted to be part of any clinical trials, so that maybe by doing so his life could be used to benefit others. I love this!

My dad was my very important to me and I was very fortunate and grateful to see him again before he passed. He wasn’t well, but he somehow managed to say to me, “I love you so much.” I told him, “I love you more.”

I will move on as my dad only wished for me to live. I will countlessly remind my son what it is to be a strong, loving man and father (with the exception of ever becoming co-dependent and sacrificing yourself for another). I will remind my son that a man should also cook, clean, and be a caretaker to his kids. I will continue my dad’s legacy and I hope to continue to make him proud for generations to come.

image-4_sm     2014-08-30-23-16-27

Previous posts on my dad’s final days.

https://gracelozada.com/2016/12/13/making-amends-before-its-too-late/

https://gracelozada.com/2016/12/18/a-week-later/

https://gracelozada.com/2016/12/21/trip-back-to-the…al-to-see-my-dad/

#agingparents #rip #ripdad

Trip back to the hospital to see my dad. 

On the train, back to see my dad. He’s still very critical. He was admitted a day before his birthday, December 8th. I went down from Los Angeles to San Diego that Sunday, a few days after and stayed until late Saturday, living in the waiting room or with my mom in his room. Never knew, whom ever knows, how the end of someone’s life will go. We all just wished that he’d die peacefully in his sleep. He deserved to go that way. He has had a long life, he’s 83, and even though there were very horrendous times, there were also many beautiful times. 

He has come a long way. From a man so happy of the possibilities, marrying a well-to-do, beautiful woman to having four girls and moving to a country that had, in his eyes, a better education (for his girls) and the endless opportunities the U.S. could provide. Mind you, parts of him, I’m sure, would have loved to stay in Peru. But, the way things were going with the government, he made the choice to what he believed, would be a better life.

The transition wasn’t easy, especially for his wife and his unknowing of what it took to raise a family. 

Despite all the heartbreak and turmoil that was endured within our home, there were caring, funny, and educational times. He loves us as best he can and he evolved to a man that could have serious talks with me without it turning into an argument of whether what we were sharing was wrong or right. 

He loved my son and felt closer to him because they both didn’t have their fathers in their life. He tended to my son, each and every day, when I couldn’t ease my son’s colic. He showed me first hand truly what feminism – equality – was. He cooked, cleaned, and took physical and loving care of his children. He showed me how to be independent, check all my fluids and tires on my cars. We’ve shared the love of cars and racing. He showed me to give my all when I workout – make it count! Growing up I heard he came to this country for our education and I hope that despite dropping out of high school, I made him proud with the two degrees I ended up getting and I’m sure he is so happy that my son is a senior at one of the most prominent universities in Southern California. 

I so wish the last few years could have been different. It was so hard in 2011 to close him out of my life, but a few months ago he read my memoir and all I hope is that he completely understands that despite everything I love him.

#agingparents #loss #grief 

A week later.

Hello lovelies!

Just got back home late last night from spending the last week in the hospital with my dad. He’s still in icu, still on the ventilator, and still sedated. They found 2 bacteria strains, which is causing his bacterial pneumonia, but they can’t understand why his lungs are bleeding. Tests still have yet to be back and he’s wasn’t running a temp today – which is great! But ots still a day to day, hour to hour situation. 😔
Hold your love ones closely, tell them you l0ve them all the time.

holding-hands
You never know when you may get another chance.

 

 

 

#agingparents

November 14th – 5 years later

candle-vigil_sm

It is amazing that it has been 5 years since you went away. I feel like it was yesterday that it was the last time I saw you. We were sitting in my car and you were telling me how hard every morning was because of the disappointment you felt that you let everyone down again. I made you feel better by telling you we didn’t care about the past and that you should let go of that guilt that, all we cared about was that you stayed healthy and you were happy. Little did I know how hard it really was for you. I should have known. I had been there – feeling like I can not move on from those negative thoughts.

I will carry a bit of your essence always in my heart. 

He was The Nicest Thing I had ever seen
https://gracelozada.com/2014/11/14/he-was-the-nices…-i-had-ever-seen/

Butterfly Beach Butterfly Beach, CA, 3.7.14He was everything quote297816_2274135206657_1027169808_n

#loss

September the 13th

RIP, Lily (25yrs ago) and Tupac (20yrs ago).
Such amazing souls and very similar.
Enthusiastic, happy, fun loving friends of mine that were appreciative for the moments life was giving them.
Lily, you changed my life.
Tupac, you said things I needed to hear at a very lonely time.

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Thank you both for coming into my life and touching my soul!

Lttr to the suffering, hold on.

Dear ones that are suffering,

Please hold on. Don’t give up. Life will get better.

It took me a long time to get to other side of feeling hopeless, like life was always going to be hopeless. I am so beyond happy that I survived to the point I never want to leave this world.
PLEASE, seek help. Counselors, psychologists. Talk to someone. Find someone to help you find someone.
When life is over, it’s over. No more chances to do the things you love, no more chances to experience something you’ve always wanted to try, no more saying, “fuck you” and finally walking away from that thing or people that add to your depression.
Please never give up. Life is beautiful.

Much love,
Grace

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#fightdepression

Where does our life and journey begin – Peru

Does our life and journey really begin at birth, or does our lineage collide with us to lay the foundation to our journey once we are born? Is our spirit passed on from lifetimes before, making amends, learning, and trying to evolve? I’ve always also felt that generations of my past did influence my upbringing. Some habits, traditions, stories, and experiences are passed on from generation to generation, good and bad, just as they are in any family. I’m a melting pot of different cultures—Peruvian, Spanish, Irish, and German, but mainly my heritage for the last few generations is from a country that is somewhat foreign to me, Peru—a place unknown to me because we left there to move to the United States when I was just three years old. Peru’s rich and varied heritage includes the ancient Incan capital of Cuzco and the lost city of Machu Picchu.

I’ve read that it’s one of the most mesmerizing, spiritual places in the world. People visit Peru because it has so many attractions, such as its archaeological treasures, the Andes mountain range, and the Amazon rain forest. In 2011, it was estimated the population was around 29.4 million.

Peruvian territory was home to ancient cultures, spanning from the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the sixteenth century. The earliest evidences of human presence in Peru have been dated to approximately 9000 BCE. The oldest known complex society, Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3000 and 1800 BCE. Peru has been described as having three regions: the costa (coast), the sierra (highlands/mountains), and the selva (jungle). It is a multiethnic country formed by different groups over five centuries. Amerindians inhabited Peru for several millennia before the Spanish conquest of the sixteenth century. Spanish and Africans arrived in large numbers under colonial rule. Gradual European immigration from England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain followed. Chinese arrived in the 1850s, replacing slave workers, and have greatly influenced Peruvian society. Peruvian culture is primarily rooted in Amerindian and Spanish traditions, though it has also been influenced by the various ethnic groups.
Lima, the capital of Peru, which is where I was born, is the largest city in Peru and one of the largest financial hubs in Latin America. It’s referred to as the City of the Kings (Ciudad de los Reyes) and was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535. Mestizos are a mix of Amerindian and European (mostly Spanish and Italian) ancestry and are now the largest ethnic group. Lima is on the coast facing the Pacific Ocean; I’d later hear that California reminded my parents of their home country. European Peruvians are the second-largest group. Lima has the largest ethnic Chinese community in Latin America.

Peruvian cuisine combines Amerindian and Spanish food with influences from African, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese cooking. Besides its delish variety of great Peruvian seafood dishes, Chifa, Peruvian-Chinese cuisine, was something our family centered on when we lived in and visited Peru. Lima is known as the gastronomical capital of the Americas. It’s my favorite cuisine and is finally becoming well-known and awarded worldwide.

As in most families, our family converges around food, primarily Peruvian food. It is the root of getting together or when there is something to celebrate; we make an abundance of dishes that we grew up with. I’m proud to say that I’m Peruvian, even though I’ve become an American citizen, and I was almost completely brought up as any other middle-class female in the United States. I’ll be thrilled when I can reconnect with my beloved birthplace and show my son some of our true culture, history, and sights of this lovely place, Peru.
#peru #family #history #book #memoir #books #amazon #goodreads #kdp

What Grace means to me

Grace by definition is:
simple elegance or refinement of movement or in Christian belief – the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

Besides “Grace” being one of my  birth names, translated from Spanish, Grace has many meanings for me and what I consider Grace to be.

Since I do not follow any organized religion, I don’t think of Grace in that sense and even though I believe in a soul and spirit, I am far from truly saying for sure that there is one divine creator. I am just a human being that does not know for sure. I do believe in past lives. I relish in my love and connection I feel for the universe-which includes Mother Earth and Inti (the sun-god) and I think that it is bigger and more important than we treat it as.

I believe we all have souls that pass on – eventually, to a new life until we reach our peak of divineness. I believe that it is okay whatever others believe. I just believe in being good toward yourself and others; having compassion, love and understanding as best you can. And lastly, I believe in giving back – helping whomever you can.

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When I titled my memoir, Evolving to Grace, I thought of how my journey was desperately trying to find the path back to Grace – to me. That spiritual being that came into this world so peaceful, so happy, so centered.

Life happened though, and how we all do, I lost my way to who my real self was. We lose touch with our soul, at least partially. We let pain, suffering, hurt in. It is unfortunately a part of life. But, it not only changes who we are, steers us away from why we are here, but it also takes away that state of grace we have when we are in touch with ourselves, in touch with the universe, and in touch with what life is supposed to be. I didn’t realize until I completed my book that this was exactly what I was desperately trying to fight for, for so many years. I wanted and needed to change, so that I can be realigned with my grace. 527302_4671234532642_653853301_n

Grace also means to me, moments of grace. Are they divine? I don’t know because my belief is that I won’t truly know what is for sure until I pass. I do believe though that there are loved ones that have passed on that are present in moments of need. But, I also believe in ourselves and that our inner wisdom that has been learning or at least trying to from past lives is speaking out to our current self. Some may refer to this as “inner voice”. In my book, Evolving to Grace, I wrote about a moment I had of clarity about my parents while driving to a loved one’s service. So many years before, I struggled with the pain of letting go of family and then just in an instant it all made sense. Finally, without any conflict in my heart and head, grace happened, and I was able to understand that it was okay to let go.

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Grace means something different to everyone. But, these are my thoughts and feelings of what Grace means to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#peace #grace #book #memoir #amazon #goodreads 

Never as I seem

We should never judge a book by its cover. I was “alternative” before that was even a thing and I was living in a town that was very conservative; all I got were stares. I feel that back then I had more style than I do now and I was trying new things, definitely with my hair and clothes. I wasn’t doing drugs (yet), but I could only imagine that that was what everybody thought.
And here I was at 16, innocent as could be, but as closed off to the cold, cold judgemental world. With a slightly grown out shaved head, no one ever could have imagine that I was anything but happy because of the smile on my face. I was also good at disguises, I was battling depression then, so I’m sure it wasn’t pure “happiness”. Or maybe, I just very seldomly wore my emotions on my sleeve lIke I  seemed to be doing that day. 
In this picture  I was more relieved than happy because that day meant to me, a celebration of freedom. Freedom from the put downs, freedom from inferiority, freedom from the physical attacks, freedom to now be good enough, and mostly freedom to no longer be just “her sister”.

I love my sis, but I was always in her shadow. Now was the first time I saw that I could break free to be me!
Read more in Evolving to Grace.
Available at Amazon.com