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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

There is something about writing that is very therapeutic.  It is a way to take that jumble of messy thoughts swirling about up there and to place them into some order (the Virgo in me prefers organized chaos).  I’ve kept journals my whole life, and go through long periods of dedicated writing followed by long hiatuses where I don’t write at all.  As I read through these old journals and posts, I realize there is a pattern.  I tend to write when I’m needing to work things out, when my heart is hurting, when I want to manifest something, or when I suddenly find myself in a moment of change.

To take it a step further, I choose to put these thoughts in a public space for anyone to read because I feel like this will somehow manifest what I’m trying to figure out, that somehow by ‘putting it out there’ and making myself exposed and more vulnerable that the answers will then find their way to me.  So far, it has worked pretty well =)

It has been a long time since I’ve written in this blog.  A few years back I went through a fairly big life transition, be it the Saturn Returns phenomenon around age 30, or just the early-life crisis of an illegal, broke, single immigrant trying to find her way.  During this period, I felt such a strong urge to write, whether it was in a journal, in this blog, or writing poetry for the Prostibulo Poetico.

It seems that after the year of struggling, soul searching and personal growth my life just fell into place.  I was offered reliable work and income, finally got my residency after 10 years of trying to make that happen, discovered my passion for birth and began my path as a doula, moved into my own flat, and experienced my first mutually loving romantic relationships.  In the past couple of years my life has become comfortable and reliable, not to mention totally awesome and fulfilling and FUN, which is exactly what was needed after a few unstable years of feeling like I was falling with no safety net.  As a result, I weened off writing in a very unintentional way, and this blog went off the radar.

Photo by Catherine Mansart

Photo by Catherine Mansart

Perhaps it’s because I work in threes, and because the cyclical nature of life enjoys keeping me on my toes, three years after my past transformation and now at the magical age of thirty-three, I am very aware that a new transformation is beginning.  For a couple of months now the Universe has been throwing me some signs that a) something needs to change, and b) the time is now, or at least soon-ish.  I see the signs.  I get that this process is happening, and I have some idea as to what needs to change, but there are many uncertainties.  That very familiar urge to find some quiet solitude, and to write down and share feelings and realizations as they come along, is back with a vengeance.

The sweet news is that I believe change is good.  And even better, this time around I feel much more positive about this inevitable change, as now I have a stable base below my feet as a starting point.  I can leap more confidently without fear of falling too hard. Overall I am very happy and feeling good about myself and the opportunities ahead.  This time there is no rush or immediate pressure looming over me either, so that allows me a little time to work all this out.  This is all dandy!

Regardless, transformations are never easy and I am having a difficult time right now trying to find out what exactly is happening and how to react to it.  So until I figure it out, and eventually react, I’m guessing my journals will get some more love and attention.  My lovely friends will unfortunately have to endure some of my head rants – sorry guys.  And maybe, if I’m not too lazy, this blog will become more present again and hopefully will work its magic to put me on the right track.

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Don’t ever let your alter ego set you up on a blind date. Unless he literally comes blindfolded, and it’s just for one fun night.

Lucita Flores, my poetry alter ego, met a stellar guy in October. He was one of her clients at the Poetry Brothel, and he had come to listen to her read sultry poetry softly into his ear. He showed up late, around 3am, and spent the next couple of hours devouring her words. Even though he did not speak English, she read him all her poems in English once the Spanish ones ran out, just to keep him there longer. He did not complain, and his words of encouragement were equal for the English poems, even though quite frankly he could not have understood a single word. He wanted to sit there longer with her too.

Let’s just refer to this guy as “The Client”. And let’s just hope that he does not learn to read English any time soon, as he knows about this blog’s existence!

Lucita fell for him instantly. His curly locks danced as he shook his head. His round brown eyes stared at her lips, in order to catch every word. And, he was tall. She appreciates tall men. But since Lucita is not available for love, she wrote him a poem called “You Are Prohibited,” and then decided to introduce him to me, her alter ego.

The Client seemed fairly interested in the girl behind Lucita’s facade, and after a couple of weeks, Regan came forward and introduced herself over coffee. We spoke of our real lives and real dreams. We spoke in real words. Yet, somehow it still felt like fantasy, perhaps since I met him just a few weeks before moving to Mexico for five months. He was sweet and responsive. He liked literature, and food. When I had my tonsils out, he came to visit me, bringing along a backgammon board to keep me company. And during all those months in Mexico, we wrote to each other with quite a lot of thought and interest. So, I of course developed my expectations and excitement to come back to see him in person.

Now I am back and I have seen him in person. And he tells me he is in love with another girl, that things have changed with him since I left for Mexico.

Why can’t Lucita now step forward and take over for me? Why can’t I just say, “To Hell with it then!” and put on some fish nets and lipstick and hightail it to the nearest bar to flirt with a stranger? I am in all ways Lucita’s opposite. I am the one that wants to love badly – so badly that I put way too much effort into it. So badly that recently my friend Danny introduced me to his friend as, “This is Regan, she loves too much.”

I should know by now that fiction and fantasy are nice, but usually it’s just that. Fantasy. Made up stories from imaginative minds with invented characters and expectations. But I never learn this, as I am a storyteller. It is practically impossible for me to not dream up fictitious relationships, scenarios, erotic fantasies and my future as a (mid)wife and mother, all based on people that come randomly into my life. I have no control over these thoughts!

I should have known from the beginning that this could never work. A potential relationship that began with me meeting a man dressed up as a Mexican hooker in a bar, whispering him lies through painted lips, probably will not lead into anything but fiction and failure. Especially when the relationship was based on a passion for writing and story-telling. Words are powerful. And they leave a lot open for interpretation. And unfortunately, my inner interpreter has a wild imagination and always likes to see the glass as not empty or even half full, but rather full to the point of overflowing. I’m fabulous at convincing myself and everyone around me that the cup is indeed full. It is like telling a story.

Stories. I think I have become an expert at creating romance stories. The thing is, for me they feel like real life. And when the protagonist is feeling heartbroken, my heart hurts.

This is the first and last time I let Lucita set me up. I need a guy to fall for me just the crazy way I am, without all the charades.

Fantasy is very real, but unfortunately reality is not very fantastic.

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Alter Ego

If you don’t already have an alter ego, than I highly recommend that you invent one. For 28 years I was just myself, which for the most part worked out alright. But now I am also Lucita Flores, a widowed Mexican chef and a poetry whore. And I have to say, it is really fun to be two people.

Say what?

Pior to meeting Madame Eva Leon, I was already pining on penning. My writing workshop teacher and friend suggested I join a poetry group. Poetry? No way, that was my limit. I hadn’t written a poem since high school when we had to write limericks about our friends on St. Patrick’s Day. And I definitely was not going to start writing Ode’s to hearts and get all lovey dovey.

The group was called Prostibulo Poetico (Poetry Brothel) and my friend insisted I attend their first reading. Out of curiosity, and the promise of free shots at the bar, I went. As a “client” at Bar Rouge, I wandered around the dimly lit bar in search of either a good hiding place, or perhaps a private reading. The whole evening seduced me and I wanted more. So I met Madame Eva Leon and her Poetry Whores. And pretty much in the instant they birthed Lucita Flores, my other I, this romantic I, this poetry-writing, heart-spying, love-book-writing I.

Poetry Brothel Reading

We aren’t REALLY prostitutes, mind you, though some of us may dress the part. It is a unique literary experience, where each ‘whore’ offers poetry tete-a-tete (that means face to face, not tit to tit) to their ‘clients’ or ‘johns.’ The catch is, we all have developed fictional characters and it is THEM and not US that write the poems. Lucita (I always refer to her in the third person, as she is not me!) has her own history, stories, network of friends, a facebook page (go ahead, add her as a friend!), style of dressing, character and love life. Completely separate to my own. As the months go on, she develops more and more and now acts quite independently from me.

I never really considered her as an alter ego until my close friends and peers starting asking me “How is Lucita?” and sometimes accidentally calling ME Lucita. At first I was frightened. And slightly offended. But then I realized that in fact having an alter ego can work to your advantage. The brilliant thing about an alter ego is that you can say “I didn’t do it!” – and mean it.

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The Facebook Effect

I’ve been deeply affected by what I like to call the “Facebook Effect.” These days, a Status Update and posting a photo album is supposed to equate staying in touch with your friends, family and peers. I am a total Facebook junkie (and yes, I am ashamed to admit that). I think it is a great tool to network, share photos and ideas, and to spy on the cute guy I just met. It’s the perfect solution to the loneliness caused by sitting behind a computer screen all day, which is how many of us spend our days. Interactive and in live time, it can make you feel like you are actually surrounded by the people you adore, no matter the time or location distance.

Facebook has its downsides as well, mainly privacy issues in regards to photographs and personal information being spewed all over the internet. But this doesn’t concern me much, as I’ve never been a private person. If I were, I wouldn’t have started this blog! I’ve been questioned about the photos and information I post on my profile, but my response is always the same: Why should I be any different online than I am in real life? I tell complete strangers on the bus about my life and have been known to do silly things in public, in front of lots of lots of people. So why not do the same on Facebook? That is just who I am.

My issue with Facebook, and the reason for me starting this blog, is that I’ve ceased writing my more lengthy, in-depth emails to my friends and family back home and scattered all around the world. For years I sent these mass emails to let people know what was going on with my life in Spain, or telling random anecdotes about the usually strange things that happen to me. Now I realize I was simply story-telling. All those years I didn’t keep a journal, and rarely spent time on creative writing. That is because the process of writing email stories to people fulfilled that need. Since I’ve joined Facebook, my ‘stories’ are condensed to one sentence, unpunctuated nonsense. And for all my family and peers that don’t use Facebook, they have received nothing from me in ages.

Recently a few friends have brought up my old mass mails and I got to feeling nostalgic.

Hence, my solution to the Facebook Effect: a blog. An open platform where anyone can visit when they please to hear my stories, both nonfiction anecdotes about life in general, as well as some fictional short stories and maybe a wee bit of poetry. Here, no one is forced to see my actions pop up on their walls, and they don’t have to join any cult to have access. Tune in if you are interested, or don’t if you are not!

Hopefully these blog entries won’t come back to haunt me one day.

 

 

 

 

 

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