I Want My Daughters To …

The princess culture (Disney and otherwise) has confounded me. I’ve read articles decrying it (these are the ones I tend to agree with more), but I’ve also come across another current of thought: that the princesses empower the girls to be who they want to be.

However, I wonder why so few of these princesses have decided to be just that: princesses. Thus the prism of options for ourselves and our daughters is limited in the media.

I don’t want my daughters to be princesses…

I want them to be queens, khaleesis, empresses, goddesses. I want them to be owners of their own domain and destiny. I want them to be owners of their lives and bodies. I want them to be able to choose. I want them to be kind and compassionate to those who have fewer resources, who are deemed “less” by other authorities, who have been forgotten by the world at large.

I want my daughters to be firefighters against the flames of injustice.


I want them to be veterinarians by virtue of the love for the animal kingdom they would inherit from me and their father.

I want my daughters to be doctors: knowledgeable about the human body and mind, and their ailments. No prudish taboos or fears allowed.

Libyan girl protesting

I want my daughters to be lawyers, to be conscious of the society we live in, to know their rights. But I also want them to be aware that they can fight the system if they perceive injustice and corruption.

I want my daughters to be builders, so they can always have the skills to shelter themselves and survive  without depending on anyone else.


I want my daughters to be athletes, bodybuilders, parkour performers, fire-breathers… I want them to push their own bodies to wherever they want to push them. I want them to be strong.

I want my daughters to discover all the colors of the rainbow, and to choose among them the ones they want to wear. I want my daughters to wear red, blue, purple, yellow, green … I want them to wear pink if they so wish, but I want them to choose this by their own volition, not by imposition.

I want my daughters to see their hair as a venue of self-expression. Do you want to wear a frilly bow? Fine. Do you want to do it up in a mohawk? Awesome! Do you want to do both at the same time? Fuckin’ A!

What I don’t want is for my girls to be limited by society, by corporations, by the goddamned gender marketing that’s taken the world by storm. I want them to feel that they are individuals with a definitive say on what goes on in their lives, their bodies, their minds.


I want them to be able to make the decision to marry whomever they choose (or not marry at all). I want them to be able to decide whether they want to have children of their own or not. I want them to have a say on how the world works, and be able to fight if they do not consciously agree.

My Little Muse hor380

I want my daughters to be more than dolls and mannequins to look pretty and smile. I want my daughters to be fucking warriors: fierce and strong and fearless.

I don’t know about the rest of you… But that is what I’d like for the daughters I don’t yet have.


What are we doing?!?

I think I’m suffering from Internet Fatigue. Every day my Facebook and RSS feeds are filled with articles, videos, and images of Important Truths You Should Know. Everyone is clamoring in unison about global warming, women’s rights, gun laws, animal cruelty… The list goes on and on and on. All of these are important topics, yes, worth fighting for, definitely. But we’re all more or less hand-tied. Or lazy. Or simply trigger-happy with the Repost alternative. We fight the good fight from behind our keyboards, and we have become a swarm of voices shouting into cyberspace. Therefore what may have once been content of dubious reputation is now a steady stream of passionate opinions everted ALL IN CAPS-LOCK! 600capslock_greeting_card Our own voice may get lost in the shuffle and tide of this sudden widespread activism, but that doesn’t worry me as much. What worries me is that, in the attempt to put in public display all the horrors we want to decry, we’re desensitizing our followers, friends, interlopers. We scroll down our timelines, allowing 2.5 seconds of attention for each entry, chuckling or nodding in agreement, hitting Repost, moving on. And the actual problems persist. Because everyone is now aware but they’re so saturated with content that very few people will actually DO something. had+to+be+said+sorry+_af564d74eb74602896462b7d7e182f13 It’s no one’s fault, really. Some have (and always had) the gumption to take action against the injustices of the world. Others are too exhausted or indifferent. It’s the way society has been constructed, and overturning this will take more than a blog post or a Facebook campaign. But we apparently started taking ourselves too seriously around the same time that hipsters leapt into the mainstream consciousness, and now instead of memes and Ain’t-It-Cool news, we have flooded our feeds with Actual Important Content. And it is all portrayed this way (“you will never believe…!” ) even if it isn’t of any real consequence. Amazing-Fact Maybe it’s time  we stopped using the internet for Serious Adult Stuff and make it fun again, a way to connect with the ones we love, not a way to drive ourselves to despise them because you’re sick and tired of all their posts about racial disparity. Yes, I think these are important topics too. But having everyone shout about it at the same time will not make it more so. download


Turning the Page

I have just realized that, whereas I created an entire Flickr set for my 34th birthday, there are no pictures from my 35th. For one panicked moment this morning, I flailed around in my memory, grasping for the faintest recollection of what I had done. Thankfully, it was awesome enough that there are distinct memories of that night: a wonderful BBQ party at Chez Amarylis & Gabriel. Thank you guys!

This year around, I don’t know what to expect. So many things have changed, so many unknowns have entered the picture, so many wonderful and new elements (people, places, dynamics, energies.)




This also has meant that all those things I’ve loved from my previous birthdays won’t be nearby . And I will miss them, no doubt about that.

I will miss Bianca’s delicious beer burgers, and our trip to the supermarket, with no idea about how much ground beef to buy, and then realizing we bought too much! …and the ensuing excess burgers, which were more than welcome! I will miss Gabe’s exceptional red velvet cake, his passionate dedication to getting it right, all of it, all his baking, his projects, his enterprises. I will miss both of them sorely. They were my sanity, my stability, my lifeline to my own self, to realizing my life was as awesome as could be, and that I didn’t need anyone else to be a magnificent person.

I will miss Gabriel and Amarylis, their unending hospitality, their unconditional friendship. I will miss how cozy and loved I felt around them. Thank you, guys, for being such lovely human beings!

I will miss Bob and his penchant for drama, be it for little or for bigger things equally. I will miss having him pacing around my living room, cigarette flying from hand to mouth, telling me about his latest personal crisis or the funniest teacher anecdotes.

I will miss Vero, even if she wasn’t able to attend my last birthday. She always strived for my birthdays to be unforgettable shindigs. I still remember the one where I got to wear a princess tiara and I got a Kit Kat bar instead of cake. For things such as  that, Vero, I will always consider you my wife <3

I will miss my sister–hell! I already do!–and her ability to get along with just about anyone, how easy it is for her to make me laugh… I will miss our “public theater pieces”, meaning basically how we loved over-performing for whoever was watching us. I miss having those Thursday afternoon coffees with her, our trips to Subway to pick up dinner and then heading home to binge on Doctor Who. I miss all of this to the point of tears. I also do miss Saturday mornings with Mom. Her impromptu invitations to lunch, coffee or simply a shopping spree. I miss making her laugh without even trying. Sometimes it was the stupidest things…

I will miss the crowd that attended last year’s birthday: Alfredo, Pepe, Zuleyka, Cheo, Alejandra S., Nina, Nadya … all of you! We made good vibes that night.

And last but not least, I’ll miss Eze’s selfless gesture of leaving his skepticism and birthday-hate aside to make my 35th a very enlightening and emotional exercise for the group to express how we felt about each other. Between the beers and the wine and the food and general hedonism, I feel that there was a true essence of mutual love and admiration among the guests. That little exercise you made up was key to making it so. THANK YOU!

I know this year will be awesome as well. Different, of course. The friendships, places, dynamics are new, but I suspect no less true and honest. I bow in love and respect to my friends and family. And I welcome this new world that will see me turn from 35 to 36.


It will love you back

I apologize for the following rant, delivered in such a disjointed manner, so disorganized and unclear. Its purpose is less to inform about particular events, and more to reflect upon my current state of mind and emotions. 

October 8, 2013 marked the passing of an era: with a brief email, my life was derailed and launched towards the mountains.

Until then, and upon retroactive analysis, I had been making some crass, yet naive, mistakes. It all came from my desire to love and be loved, to set myself free from the shackles of fear, to lead a life true to myself. Perhaps the mistake was in not paying close attention to what MY SELF is.

I spent a long time surrendering my wishes to those of others. Most of the times, specially in more recent years, I did this subconsciously, convincing myself that their wishes were my own, adopting them blindly, giving myself abundant reasons to hold to their points of view.

Mostly, and this is probably the mistake from which all others spawned, I tried to become a predominantly logical and practical person…

I, who was born with a strong tendency towards emotion, tears, laughter, and romantic notions.

I attempted to vanquish my abandonment issues by destroying all illusions of permanence and possession. I vied to make my heart stronger by putting it through the wringer. I put myself out there time and again, holding onto the battering ram that was pummeling me into the ground, throwing myself down the rabbit hole with no regard for my own safety or sanity.

I was loved, I know. But I was also used and abused. They tried to break me and submit me. They expected so much from me, and I gave all I could give and more. I was drained. No wonder I got to my new home feeling exhausted. I left a lot behind. I wept. I got sick. Then I recovered.

I began exploring my new home, and I learned: “Love this city, and the city will love you back.” I needed to trust this. This was mine. My own city, my own home, my own life. I was finally going to confirm who MY SELF was.

And MY SELF is emotional, no matter how strong I am. And yes, I have romantic notions about … stuff … even if I have to de-program my default response, which has been to berate myself for being so mushy. And yes, I do want to get married, even if I could recognize and understand opposing points of view. And in spite of my staunch and vocal advocacy against procreation… Well, you’d have to know my intimate personal history  to understand what can only be misconstrued as a flip-flop by casual acquaintances.

Many other elements of my being have resurfaced after years of stifling and repressing them (for no reason whatsoever, really). This place is haunted in a certain way I cannot explain, and the way it’s affected me is that it has put me more in contact with the divinity within. I may not be retaking that spiritual path where I left off more than ten years ago, but I’m rediscovering the heartfelt beliefs that led me there.

I had no expectations when I came here. This place and its people definitely took me by surprise.

Most of all, he did.

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Not the dog (although the dog is awesome and bitey in his own right).

No, I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone new here (not for a long while anyway). Much less was I expecting to fall in love. Not so soon. Not so fast. Not so beautifully. And no, I wasn’t expecting the predominant feeling in a new relationship to be certainty. No fear, no falling down the precarious void of not knowing what the future may bring.

I may not have full control of my future, but I cannot deny the crystal clear message the universe has sent to me. Trust it, love it, and it will love you back.

It’s a new way of life. I may be “falling”, but my eyes and wings are open, and I am not alone.






The Coquí Nest

I suspect not everyone got the memo, and for that I apologize, but here goes: I moved to Denver.

Yes, Denver, CO. A place I’d never visited before, never even mentioned in the long list of “Places I’d Like to Live In” or even “To Visit”. It almost felt like an arranged marriage. A very sudden one at that too.

I had been toying with the idea since earlier in the year, when Lynette, a friend who works at one of the companies I was freelancing for, mentioned that they needed another person. However, I was also considering following up my Master’s degree with a specialization in medical translation. The priorities were muddled there: Get a job? Or a better preparation?

I contacted my liaison in that company anyway, let her know of my interest, and that was that. I didn’t hear from them again for months. Lots of things happened in those months. Lots of lessons learned, lots of lives affected, lots of growing and rethinking was done in those meager months.

For one, I realized that, in spite of my staunch position against being a mother, I really do want to have a kid. Which brings my current main relationship under scrutiny, because we don’t agree in that, and that is one thing in which you don’t want to disagree in a relationship. However, for the moment being, it’s all in standstill. I’m not ready yet. But I cannot dawdle around too much either. I’m 35, the clock is ticking, yadda-yadda.

Not long after coming to terms with this, I got the call. We set up an interview for Monday October 7th. We Skyped. I got an offer on October 8th. I moved away on the 15th. And that was that. Here I am.

Colorado: a state I knew next to nothing about–no wonder it feels like an arranged marriage! But luckily enough, I’ve begun falling in love with the city, with its people, with the experiences I’ve had so far…

I know, it’s the “honeymoon phase”. But even at its scariest, I’ve concluded that if you love the city, the city will love you back. You just have to tread carefully, like in any other place in the world.



One thing that struck me as awesome right off the bat is the bike-friendliness of its design. This has coincided with a highly politicized event back in PR, in which a cyclist was run over by a car. People have reacted with such vitriolic rage against cyclists in general, it makes me wonder about my fellow countrymen’s sanity.



The change of colors (in the trees and plants) has also left me in ecstatic bliss. This is one of the tiny processes of nature I so resented my tropical latitude for lacking. Seasons. Denver has them. And that is beautiful.

Plus I also (finally) saw snow for the first time. Haven’t seen a snowFALL, but … damnit, I saw freaking SNOW! Finally, a lifelong dream: accomplished!



Also, I got my first library card ever! It’s an actual library. With books in it. Which you can borrow and read. And you don’t need to pay a membership or be part of X or Y group of people. This is a motherfucking PUBLIC library. With many floors. I think I’m gonna spend a lot of time in there.



Speaking of which, I took this picture of one of the first books I checked out. Because SNOOPY, that’s why. They have the entire Peanuts collection, and that made me cry a little with joy.



Another good thing is that HEY! I got to a new city with a job. Which pays nicely. So I went to Ikea and I brought home a few gossiping rats (and a squirrel!). Here they are, up to no good, conniving with Woodstock (whom I ordered in from Kohls.) Feel free to take the picture and insert a caption. Share it with me, though. Don’t go being all stingy about it!



Also, I’ve been lucky enough to shack up with Lynette, who’s as crazy as I am and loves chocolate as much as I do. And cookies. And helping Mr. Squirrely pose for the camera.

Still, baking’s gonna be a bitch here. High altitudes and whatnot. Same with the nosebleeds. The constant nosebleeds. I mean, body, c’mon! Three weeks is more than enough for you to get accustomed to the dry cold!



And the sunsets. The gorgeous, luminous sunsets. Given that this is not a gloomy place, a gorgeous sunset is in the offering almost on a weekly basis. However, they are happening earlier and earlier. Soon, the sun will be setting during lunch!



Still, sunsets looks gorgeous even from inside.

Today I took the train here for the first time (I travel around by bus, mostly, and that’s only until I scrounge up enough money for my own bike). It runs through a train graveyard. This is one place I’m gonna have to trespass into and photograph the living hell out of it!

Little by little, like a curious yet patient lover, I discover the nooks and crannies in this city. I am loving it. And it is loving me back.

PS: One other confession, which I only shared yesterday with my coworkers because what the heck!

I made this a while ago. Sort of like an exercise. It’s not that I’m pining for a wedding (who has the money for all that?) but I also realized I wouldn’t be so opposed to it as I previously thought. Oh well … pipe dreams indeed.

Back to this gorgeous reality …