Do What You Love

One thing I don’t share about me too often  is one of my passions – photography.

It’s been something I’ve been loving and doing since about the age of 6. It brings me happiness and it is 1 of the things I actually think I am good at.

 

 

I believe we all should be doing what we love. Easier said then done sometimes. I know. I had to raise a child all by myself and thought I’d be practical and do Accounting. But, now it’s my time to chase my dreams! Even if I don’t succeed, I’ll never give up doing what I love.

Never let go of what brings you happiness.

Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.
Barack Obama

#photographer #chasingmydreams #acoa

Ode to Court today, 5/23/2017

As I sit here, next to you 

I think of all these moments of time.
The moments of my life, so long ago.

My life was adventurous.
My life had promise.
My life had excitement of new loves, new experiences.

Not everyone gets to live the high life of fun times in West Hollywood’s clubs
the glamorous who’s-who parties in the Hollywood Hills
the adoration and reassurance of self esteem of someone like 2pac noticing you.

The moments you and I shared.
The relationship and things we shared.
All I can think,
while I sit next to you here in court – how did we get here?

Why did you choose not to be part of your son’s life
with not even a care in the world to make sure he was properly taken care of.
Is all you have to say to me
when you sit down next to me is –
“sorry”.
#childsupport

Signed Book Giveaway! Enter soon!

Many years ago I had a calling ~ to share my story. As a teenager, I thought I was the only one that was going through what I was going through. But, there are millions out there that have been given a tough life. For those of you, please don’t give up.
Evolving to Grace is a memoir about perseverance, strength, spiritual evolution, and the choices one must make to change one’s path. I share my life’s experiences, my journey—finding my way out of darkness—discovering hope, positivity, strength, happiness and the right path for the life I choose to live. I write about many challenges I’ve had to face and overcome—either due to alcoholism, depression, violence, rape and being a single mother on welfare.

I could be labeled many things: illegal, ACoA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic), domestic violence survivor, excessive alcohol and drug user, rape victim, assault victim, hitchhiker, high school dropout, call girl, and single mother on welfare. But, these are just situations I ended up in when I was lost and broken. I’ve learned from my past and I am evolving to find my grace in this beautiful thing we call life. I believe by sharing my story, we all can learn from one another or at least find more compassion and understanding. We can change our destiny, our path.

And now I’m giving away a few signed copies of my memoir! Enter on Goodreads.com for your chance to win!

For book bloggers/reviews, please direct message me.📖
Also available at Amazon.com, ibooks, and B&N.com.

#nomoreweek #endthestigma #youarenotalone

I am an immigrant 

​This is the face of an immigrant.

Our family came over from Peru in the early 70’s.
Like many Hispanics and immigrants, we came over for a better life, better education.

All I know is this country.
All I have ever known is to be American, even when I was still technically Peruvian.

We are not here to take or get handouts. We are not here to commit crimes. My parents worked hard, paid their taxes, and tried their best to provide a better life for their daughters.

There is no need to deny someone based on traditions, beliefs, religion or they way they look.

This country is based on diversity. Most of us, including Trump, we’re immigrants.

It’s sad now that I am not recognizing this country because it is all I have ever known (remember).

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” – Emma Lazarus

#immigrantsmatter #unity #lovetrumpshate #immigration #ilovetheusa
#immigrant

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

To Dare

To Dare

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd,
is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To believe is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken,
Because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The people who risk nothing do nothing,
have nothing, are nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but the cannot learn, feel change, grow, love and live.

Chained by their attitudes, they are slaves;
They have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.

– Author Unknown

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

heart-for-you.jpg.jpg

 

#fightdepression

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 

In honor of Suicide Prevention Month – I know depression too well

excerpt from Evolving to Grace…

By the eighth grade, I would lock myself up in my room for hours, scarring my wrists over and over again with safety pins, not looking for attention but to overpower the pain I was going through. I had even tried strangling myself with a belt, but I couldn’t get that to work. I couldn’t figure out where to place the belt so that I could hang myself. Somehow I also knew of overdosing as a way to kill myself. In those days, we didn’t have the Internet, so I wonder where I even got the idea. I thought I’d just go to sleep and never wake up. I tried killing myself twice this way, both times with aspirin and Tylenol.

suicide 2

By this time, I was just so hopeless. I knew the bottoms of despair like no other. Faith did not exist in my life. Life had sucked for as long as I could remember. In my mind, it was always going to be this horrible, miserable life. It was too hard to try to live anymore. Yes, I had fun times here and there. Yes, we weren’t always fighting. Yes, she wasn’t always drinking. Yes, Guadalupe wasn’t always a shitty sister. Yes, there may have been glimpses of real love. But the bad outweighed the good by volumes, at least in my mind. I wanted out so badly, and when you saw and felt that nothing would ever change—and somehow, I felt wherever I went it would still be a horrible, miserable, sad life and all I could think is that the only way out is death. I wanted to be free of the pain—the stifling pain I had endured for years, maybe over a decade, even though I was just thirteen.

Suicidal depression is like seeing no other way out, and the darkness runs so deep that almost nothing and no one could tell you anything different about your life, your situation, or how it was going to change. You feel what you feel, the deepest bottom of a sadness that shouldn’t even be referred to as sadness. You can’t compare it to being blue or sad. Only those who have been suicidal truly understand, and I understood too well because I had been suicidally depressed for more than a year or two. I had the feeling of being done with life, wanting out, but it was just in the last few months that I finally started thinking about how to end my life.

The times I tried to hang myself really ended up being more of me strangling myself, and I’d physically stop at some point. I don’t know if human beings can actually strangle themselves. I did get to the point of closing off some circulation because I ended up with hundreds of dots all over my face. It didn’t heal for a few days, and somehow I was able to talk my way out of what had happened to my face.

The first time I tried to overdose, I just got very sick to my stomach but was eventually able to lie down, and within a couple of hours, I stopped throwing up but needed a few days to get back to feeling normal. The second time I did it, I almost succeeded; the throwing up was so bad that blood came up, and after a couple of hours of that, I was so tired and then scared—not because of dying but because of the throwing up being so bad for so long. I thought I was going to lie down in this peaceful sleep that I dreamed of and never wake up. Instead, it was this endless vomiting, and I just wanted it to stop. I went to my mom and told her what I had done, and I was rushed to the emergency room. They pumped my stomach, and somehow, my parents talked the doctors out of telling the authorities or having them not commit me for a psychiatric evaluation. I stayed in the hospital for a few days. The doctors said my stomach was bleeding and that I had messed up the lining a bit, but it was not too serious. I was told to monitor or not eat certain foods that would harm it more.

From that point on, my parents catered to me, letting me stay home from school (legally ditching) for days at a time; they’d treat me sometimes to my teenybopper magazines and caramel popcorn from the specialty shop down at the strip mall outside of our subdivision. I wasn’t bratty about it. They just kept asking and asking if I wanted this or that, and I was just looking for anything to feel better, which happened to be sweets and my magazines.

Staying home from school made it a little better, because that was another thing that I hated in my life. And for a little while, the focus was on me, which had my parents behaving. I didn’t try again to kill myself. I thought it couldn’t happen, or at least I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Also, I think it really scared me. Maybe part of me from that point forward learned what death truly was, and a small part of me at that point became scared of it.

But the hopelessness remained. The sadness was still there. The wanting out, being done with life, remained. I never spoke up about what was troubling me, even though there was one time my mom came to me and sat at the edge of my bed and asked me. There was no point. Who could change my situation? Who would change our lives on Silver Shadows Lane? And if it wasn’t clear enough—because it should have been—there was no point in saying anything.

suicide_prevention_awareness_by_xxxbleeding_angelxxx-d4dusu0

#suicide #depression

What remains after…

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What remains after the butterfly has gone.
What remains is sorrow—that I won’t have one last kiss.
What remains is loneliness—that I won’t have one last embrace.
What remains is bitterness—that you had to leave me so soon.
What remains is guilt—that I wasn’t there for you in the end.
What remains is disbelief—that you’re not lying here next to me.
What remains is knowing—that I’ll never meet anyone like you.

Love,
Key

#loss #grief