THE TWELFTH DAY

Eleven days. 

One family death.

One broken heart.

Two asthma inhalers.

Three days off from work.

I’ve been everywhere but in my body and I’ve wanted to be anywhere but inside my mind for the past eleven days. 

I started writing something I intended to post last week. It went something like…

“This week I found that I’ve been expending excessive amounts of energy towards faking the funk. Shifting facial expressions so as to not hint at my discontent…”

…And then it didn’t make sense to post it anymore because I couldn’t put a smile on. I received news that someone I considered family had unexpectedly passed away as I had just been disclosed details of one of the biggest heartbreaks I’ve ever been through. I was in my own living hell. Gathering the strength to piece together the broken hearts of people I love and simultaneously trying to piece together my own. I can’t begin to describe how trying these eleven days have been. I can only describe it as trying to complete a marathon with no legs. 

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By day five I felt foolish. I wanted to shut myself off in anguish because I had been betrayed by someone so precious to me, but I couldn’t bring myself to be worthy of my own pain. My misery was nothing compared to the agony being felt by my loved ones. They actually lost someone forever. Although I wanted to cry over having to delete someone’s number, I couldn’t. I had to be present during casket picking, obituary writing and funeral preparations. I couldn’t be as selfish as I wanted to be with my feelings. I thought I shouldn’t matter at the moment. My problems weren’t as grave.

As if my week couldn’t get any weirder, I received an email inviting me to nominate myself for a LatinTREND Trendsetter Award. I didn’t really understand and it didn’t make much sense to be secretly nominating myself while taking a tour of a cemetery, but I did it anyway. The next day, I received a response email stating that the nominations were closed, but it didn’t matter because I was already one of twenty top NYC bloggers nominated and my presence is requested for the awards show on February 3rd. 

I felt guilty feeling happy for myself, so I didn’t tell anyone for a few days. As much as I love writing, posting, and sharing myself with all of my readers, I just didn’t feel worthy at that moment. Everything around me was crumbling. How could I be happy for myself?

By day ten I had completely immersed myself in my depression and lost myself in the process. 

It took a snow day to get me to stay home and regroup. It took body aches from laying down for so long to get me to peel myself off my bed. It took non-stop vibrating from my phone to get me to answer my text messages…and then it hit me. 

[Text Message, 10:04am] “You’re so appreciated. You express the words that my mind is never capable of speaking out on. You’re a beautiful person and although I don’t know you as much as I would love to, I see right through you, through your presence, vibes, leakage…I see your beautiful radiant light and it is more appreciated than you will ever know.” 

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In eleven days I was disappointed by someone I’ve since forgiven because of unconditional love. My best friend lost her brother and her family lost their son. I spent all week by their side just so that they had someone to help them carry their burden; so that they knew they weren’t alone in their grief. I was nominated for an award honoring a top NYC blogger making a difference in their community - not because I’m out planting trees or serving at soup kitchens, but because I’ve shared my stories with the world in hopes that I could uplift even one person.

It worked. 

It? Me being myself. Casting my light. Loving as much as the world allows me to. It has all worked in my favor.

As much as my mind would like to continue to wallow in its sadness, I can’t allow it. I won’t stop feeling, but I can’t be depressed. I can’t stop shining. I can’t stop loving. I can’t stop being myself. No problem is too large and no feeling is too strong. My light has proven to outshine even itself. 

This is an ode to the twelfth day. A new day. An opportunity to step up. To be greater. To live unapologetically and without guilt. To change my life so that I can change those of others. To emanate more love. To be the best me I can be.

Shine.

Love.

Be the best you.

Rest in Peace, AD. 

Art by Olaf Hajek.