Ain’t no rest 

There’s this song I like called “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked”, and I’m not 1000% sure this post will relate to it much, but it’s definitely stuck in my head right now. 

I’m up late not just because I was doing work, but because I get really anxious for exams and I have one on Thursday. I’m not just regular anxious though, I’m super anxious. The exam is in a math class and math isn’t my strongest subject. 

I’m a senior in college with a cumulative 3.8 GPA, and I still freak out about grades. Twenty one years on this earth and I still haven’t stifled the school perfectionist in me. 

I say “school perfectionist” because I’m mostly a perfectionist when it comes to school related things. I still strive to be the best in other areas of my life, but nothing really bugs me like school does. It’s both totally unhealthy and the best thing for me. 

In terms of my future, doing well in school makes sense. My future looks a little more bleak and a little slower now, because I can’t really continue to do everything on my own like I have been, but doing well now will still help my future endeavors. 

It’s funny because I swore that once I got to college I’d tone it all down, but the truth is I’ve kicked it up a knotch (SOS, seriously, someone  tell me I need to calm the F down). 

Putting my all into school and building my future helps me to forget about my past and present. To this day, I don’t have the familial support system a lot of people around me have. I don’t have anyone actively expressing interest in what my post-grad life will look like. I’ve never really had anyone like that. The undergrad application process consisted of me doing everything on my own, and asking my parents to pay for/sign a couple things. I don’t think my parents ever even saw my common app essay. No one cared what I wrote about, no one really saw my 9 acceptance letters as the accomplishments they were. 

No one ever really sees any of the work that into anything I do. People are quick to point out my flaws though. 

All those cliche sayings about how good people get screwed, and nice guys finishing last etc., turns out there might be some truth to them. No matter what I do, nothing will ever be good enough for anyone. That is the one thing that has been most consistent in my life. I am the one who pulls through to prove to myself that I am in fact capable of great things, but doing all this work with zero recognition gets exhausting. 

Sometimes I think about the ways in which my life would be better if I hadn’t pushed myself, if I settled for all the things young Puerto Rican women have been settling for for generations. Sometimes I just want to give up. 

I can’t. 

And I won’t. 

No matter how hard it gets, even if it means I get no rest. I’m not sure, but I feel like someday someone somewhere will recognize all of my accomplishments and my mark will be left on the world. 

Everybody

When I hear the word “everybody” a few songs come to mind immediately. The first is “Everybody” by the Backstreet Boys. That’s really just cause who doesn’t love saying “everybody” really obnoxiously? I can’t be the only one who does. 

Next, is a song by S Club 7 (if you don’t know who they are I feel sad for you and you should look them up). The song is called “Never Had a Dream Come True”, and one of the first lines reads “Everybody’s got somethin they had to leave behind”. These are words I’ve understood for a while, but not in the same way I’ve come to understand them recently. 

I’ve always kinda struggled with letting things go. I especially struggle with letting go of people I care for. There are many reasons I struggle to let go of some people, but the most common is that I get stuck on what they have the potential to be instead of focusing on what they currently are. I like to see in the good in people, especially when everyone else has counted them out. 

Unfortunately, this has gotten me into trouble a few times. I’ve ended up looking like the stupid girl in a bad Rom Com or Chick Flick who can’t let go of a sort of cancerous person. 

Thankfully, some things in my life have been coming together nicely recently and I’ve realized that I have some things I need to leave behind. It’s totally still a scary thought, but it’s also sort of exciting. Nothing is more liberating than moving on from things/people that are toxic to you. (Disclaimer: It’s not always their fault that they’re toxic, just putting that out there). 

I’ve also come to realize that there may actually be some truth to Chance the Rapper’s song “Everybody’s Something”.  The message of the song is simply “Everybody’s somebody’s everything”. 

While I wouldn’t say just yet that I think I’m anyone’s everything (except for maybe sometimes my parents, but that doesn’t actually seem to be true most the time), I will say that I’m learning not to count myself out. I’ve always personally felt like I’m worthy of being somebody’s everything, but I haven’t felt that anyone would actually feel that way about me. I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but yeah. 

I guess basically what I mean is, I’ve always been aware of my worth, but I’ve always sort of settled for less because that’s easier and being treated as you should be treated by anyone seems nearly impossible. 

I’m here on this fine Monday morning, to tell you that I’ve been fucking up. There is no reason to settle. There are people out there who will acknowledge your greatness for what it is. There are people who will treat you as you deserve to be treated. There’s no need to settle in order to be the girl (or guy) who is “chill” and not ever be called crazy. People tend to call women crazy simply because they know what they want and deserve and won’t settle for less. (Sorry to generalize but it’s true, we’re called crazy A LOT). 

We’re not crazy though. Recognizing your worth and choosing yourself above all else isn’t crazy, it’s self-love. So I think the one thing I’d add to Chance’s profound words is that not only is everybody somebody’s everything, but you are someone’s everything just as you are. Anybody who changes you or makes you settle for less than you deserve is not the “somebody” whose everything you are. 

Today I skipped a class to cook dinner.

Well, not really, but I did in fact cook dinner while skipping class.

Why did I skip class? Simply because I was too anxious to go. It’s a Spanish class, my first since high school, but the professor expects a lot. He’s one of those that calls on you when they know you don’t have an answer ready.

For me, formulating completely eloquent thoughts in Spanish is not something that comes super naturally yet. I feel like in his class I am expected to just show out and somehow be better than everyone else simply because I am Puerto Rican. He commented on my “pero like” sticker on my laptop once and I thought maybe he had gotten the hint that Spanglish is my second language but I guess not.

Anyway, yeah, so I skipped class because the thought of going to that class is actually really overwhelming. It’s a lot more overwhelming than I thought, and it’s definitely not rational, but it is what it is.

I needed to cook dinner anyway because I was going to be on the center of campus from 1pm till at least 10. What was dinner? Rice and beans. Rice and beans because I’m super Puerto Rican? sure. Rice and beans because it’s something I’m decent at making? yup. Rice and beans because its cheap and will keep me fed for at least two days? DING DING DING we’ve got a winner.

Being broke is hard. I won’t venture to say I am poor, because that is not the case, but I basically am. I have a slight glimpse at what life is like living from paycheck to paycheck. The only difference is I’m not yet living paycheck to paycheck, I’m living off of what my father has been gracious enough to give me until I get paid. I don’t even want to think about what I am going to do when I do start getting paid, because working 10 hours a week doesn’t really pay much.

I feel like I am in a never-ending vortex of financial troubles. I already have more bills than I have money to pay. My credit card is basically maxed out and I have nothing saved. I worked like a dog all summer simply to secure the basics, and all that work feels like it amounted to nothing because here I am. I’m stuck. I have no current cash flow other than my father, and he’s already sick of helping me. I think I have enough food to get me through the rest of this week, but that’s all that is known for sure right now.

One of my best friends is having birthday festivities this weekend and I am terrified to even ask my father for a small loan to cover my dinner. I don’t even have money to refill my gas tank to get to where I am supposed to be this weekend. I’m literally going to go put my last $5 into my tank tomorrow for the sake of getting me too and from the library at night.

Speaking of my gas tank, my car needs a repair, nothing major, but nothing I have the time or money for right now. She definitely needs to get fixed before winter comes but I honestly don’t see it happening.

I don’t see a lot of things happening. I once saw a really bright future for myself including grad school directly after undergrad. Jokes on me, because even though I have the grades and the resume to get in I don’t have the money or the support possible to even think about starting to apply.

Sometimes I really just question if putting myself in debt and through all this stress is actually going to be as worth it as people say. I have my dad’s financial support for now, and I am so eternally grateful for it, but I feel like the rest of my life is just being left up to me.

I’m on my own. At this point it feels like no one would care if I didn’t make it to commencement. It really makes me feel for all the people who weren’t able to overcome the struggles they were born into. I wasn’t born into struggle, but I’ve had my share, and on nights like tonight I feel all hope slipping.

What is the point of me trying to hard to excel in the ways that I do, if I am going to constantly be held back by other things? I now understand why some people genuinely don’t care, why some don’t even bother trying. It all seems so impossible, and the worst part is that even though I know I’m not the only one facing struggles, and even though I don’t have it as bad as some people, I feel so alone.

I’ve felt alone for a really long time actually. It seems like all my life I’ve been the independent child who was trusted to take care of herself. I don’t mind being known as an independent woman who powers through whatever life throws her way, but “independent” doesn’t have to mean alone, ya know?

Stupid Questions

Some people like to claim that there is no such thing as a stupid question, and for the most part, I agree. 

HOWEVER, 

I have been asked plenty of questions that I find particularly annoying. They’re not stupid in that they make no sense or have no context, they’re stupid in that I am tired of having to answer them. 

Favorite question of my college career thus far; “Why did you join your sorority?” 

Typically, this is a harmless question. Most women would probably answer with something about sisterhood, philanthropy or service. 

99% of the time I am asked this question, however, people are asking what I am doing as a Latina chick in a predominantly white organization. (Sometimes people who know I’m not the biggest fan of socials and going out ask this question because they don’t understand that Greek Life has more to offer than that, so I guess that’s fair) 

The truth is, yes, I am a Latina chick in a predominantly white organization. Yes, sometimes that complicates things. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable within my own organization or the council as a whole, but life isn’t always comfortable. 

I see my presence as a positive thing, not necessarily because I want to be the token person of color for my org or council, but because I am in fact breaking barriers in my own way. 

On more than one occasion I’ve heard people say that my chapter is the most diverse of our council and that feels great, but I’m also here to inform you all that the 26 organizations that make up are national conference are different everywhere. Where there is more diversity in the student body, obviously there is more diversity within student organizations. 

* I don’t even like the term “diversity” wrote a whole methods project on it, but that’s for another time. 

Although I’ll admit that occasionally I question myself when it comes to why I would subject myself to some of the things that occur being a POC in a predominantly white org, or why I didn’t go to an HBCU, I love my chapter and my school. (I’ve literally never said I love my school because it was in fact my “safety school” if ya wanna call it that) 

All my life I have been in the middle, or at least it’s felt like I’ve been in the middle (can there really be a middle if race is thought of as dichotomous in the U.S.?)  While being in the middle can really suck sometimes, like really suck because you don’t even know if the identity you claim is the one you should be claiming or have any rights to, I have sort of tried to squeeze as much positive out of it as possible. 

We can talk more about that another day though, for now, just know that sometimes other people’s life choices don’t make sense to us, but what is important is that they make sense to them.  So be careful about the questions you ask, please. 

Yeah, I like to write

I’m currently in the midst of a real life rom-com so I figured my return to writing was finally due. 

Actually, I attempted to write something the other day, but it felt a little too forced for my liking. 

The title of this post comes from a conversation I had with a very nice contender the other night. *contender, typically means a person competing to achieve something. No one is really “competing” for my love and affection, but I like that word better than the others I could think of* 

Anyway, I was helping sed contender with a writing assignment and he asked me if I like to write. Surprisingly, this isn’t a question I often hear (he’s v perceptive thus far which is has almost restored my faith in the entire inferior sex). The answer of course is, yes, I like to write. As long as a prompt is decent, or I have some creative control, writing is sort of my thing. 

I’ve never really wanted to claim that because claiming you’re good at anything is hard when you know there are plenty of people out there whose writing is better than yours. I don’t write for other people though. Sure, I write for a grade that a professor is giving me, but other than that my writing just needs to satisfy me. 

This sounds like a crazy thing for the owner of a barely-running blog to say, but it’s true. Time and time again I’ve noted that it’d be cool to develop an audience of any sort, but when I blog I blog for my well being. 

Writing helps me really put things into perspective, it helps me say the things I might be scared to say otherwise, it helps me learn how to effectively communicate. 

When contender number one posed that question, I found myself smiling. I was smiling because for the first time in quite some time, I was really able to talk about something that I love with someone who seemed genuinely interested. For the first time since senior year started, I had an idea of something that I might want to make a bigger part of my future down the road.

So yeah, I like to write, do you?