Friday, December 27, 2013


In nursing school they emphasize the importance of silence. Sometimes nothing needs to be said. It's something I found easy to do with my patients. I observe people a lot, the ones who don't like it say I "psychoanalyze" them. I'm not trained to psychoanalyze people, I'm simply observant. I come from an emotionally abusive household where I was to be seen and not heard. My days depended on my parents' mood; if my dad was happy it was a good day, if my dad was upset the day would be spent arguing and yelling. When I would misbehave when I was little my parents would get me to behave by telling me if I didn't they would abandon me. Haha, I wish I was joking. It created in me a chasm filled to the brim with abandonment issues it's taken me until now to get through. 

The silence nursing school described was healthy silence. The silence I experienced within my personal life was manipulative and angry. When I was younger silence was everywhere; at the dinner table, in the car, while playing… My parents are good people… now. I forgive them for who they were then because they didn't know any better. I know that for a fact because I had/have the privilege of knowing my grandparents. The older I get the more family secrets are uncovered and the more I understand why the people around me are the way they are. It's so easy to be judgmental and criticize but if I'm honest with myself I dunno what I'm doing half the time! Life is about trial and error. The people around me don't listen to what I have to say because all they see are the mistakes I've made in the past. Oh, and that I'm a woman; all crazy and unstable. 

I was always a daddy's girl. My dad always showered me with love and affection, he protected me and loved me. He was also really scary. I remember hiding in the closet crying when I was 3 or 4 because he was fighting with my brothers. Their teenage years were scary… It was like he saved all his love for me and then spent the rest of the day taking out his anger on everyone else around him. Growing up loving a "monster" has probably been the most beneficial and detrimental things to happen to me as a kid. I knew there was kindness inside of him, I had seen it. I knew he possessed love; I felt it. My dad has been my biggest teacher in compassion, not because he shows it to others but because I had to have it to love him. I had to come to terms with the fact that my dad was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. My father spends his time in silence and I love my father so I would spend my time in silence with him. I hated his silence. 

This resentment of silence built up within me during my teenage years. Until finally I couldn't be silent anymore. My mom had a lot to do with it. She wanted me to be stronger than her. Don't worry my mom messed me up plenty too :) but she taught me not to be afraid of my dad because she would always have my back. She would tell me to speak up for myself. Unfortunately my father was a tyrant who's first response was always "no." What it created was an incredible negotiator but also someone who has to stand up and yell every time an injustice is felt. I've decided to take this drive my parents collectively created within me and use it for good such as activism. 

I can't keep my mouth shut when I see or feel an injustice. I have to relearn silence within my personal life. I almost got arrested because I couldn't keep my mouth shut when an officer towed my car for no reason (seriously no reason, I got cleared of everything minus the towing costs). When I feel an injustice it doesn't matter who you are, you're going to hear how I feel about it. Because I react this way often the people closest to me have learned to tune me out. So the last 4 months or so I've remained silent because if you can't respect me I don't have to talk to you. There was no debating, no yelling or name calling I just withdrew and said, "Okay, I'll give you your space." In silence people have time to reflect, time to recognize their feelings and see how they could have handled things differently.

In 2013 I learned who I was and what I wanted out of life. I also healed from so much pain from the past. People close to me tell me I still have to change, this annoys me because 1. let's first acknowledge all the positive change I have undergone and 2. I never said I was done changing and growing. I debate their need to point out the changes I need to make because it feels unfair that they can't acknowledge all the good I do and am and that they would think I was so dumb. My debating usually leads to them giving me a superior, "See what I mean" look. So this next year I will relearn silence and let my actions speak for themselves. When people want to hear what I have to say they'll come to me. Until then I focus on myself. 

2014 will be another year of progression. A year of not taking shit personal. A year of being fearless because fear only leads to suffering. I've suffered enough for 10 lifetimes, I'm ready to  soar through the rest of my life smiling, loving, caring and sharing my good with everyone I meet. I'm ready to let go of the past. I'm smiling as I'm writing this because it's happening right this second. When I learn lessons I learn them well. I'm tired of feeling angry. If I want to change the world with love and compassion I have to let go of my defensiveness and instead try to understand others so that they can understand me. 2013 was about healing my soul, this next year will be about healing my body and exemplifying my values and beliefs. People don't believe what I tell them because it doesn't look like I follow my own advice so instead of arguing with them on how I live honestly I will instead remain silent and allow my actions to be my voice. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I know who I am and I know I've handled every obstacle that has come my way. I'm proud of myself. That's really all that matters. 

"Happiness is the result of love coming out of you. No one else can make you happy." Don Miguel Ruiz   

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Honesty, Love, Respect and Kindness

This weekend two of my friends married each other! It was a really joyful occasion and so much fun! I gave the blessing which was an amazing honor. I look back at this year and I feel so blessed! Weddings used to be bittersweet for me because I used to compare myself to everyone else and then feel inadequate because I didn't like myself very much. Last December I made a goal:

This year, I will learn how to love myself.

Then I set out on accomplishing that goal. I consulted with other professionals, peers, books, classes, documentaries. 

Growing up, "I don't know," was never an acceptable answer because only stupid people didn't know stuff and we weren't stupid. Looking back, my parents had the best intentions but what they created in me was the fear of being honest. Becoming a nurse has been the best decision I've ever made. As nurses we are encouraged to be honest and say, "I don't know," when it's followed by, "but I will find out." Then you look for the answer because you promised your patient you would. After 18 years of not being allowed to say… anything, it was a hard habit to break.

It took me until I was 25 to say, "I don't know how to love myself… but I will find out." Then I did. That's slowly becoming the second best decision I've ever made. I really couldn't be happier with my life and more proud of myself.  

Like I said, weddings used to make me feel lonely and bittersweet because I would spend the night in my own head feeling insecure. Last night I was happy to be at the singles table; I had a wonderful time all because I decided to figure out how to love myself. I looked stunning, I made lots of friends, and had an amazing time living in the moment instead of my head. For the first time in my life I don't feel lonely. My life is bursting with love. All I can say is you get what you give if you demand it. I treat others AND myself with honesty, love, respect and kindness; I expect the same in return. If individuals don't want to abide by that then they don't have to be part of my life. I used to be afraid of being honest and having standards, not anymore. 

Honesty is so important when healing from emotional trauma. I had to look at my whole life with blinders off and recognize where I went wrong so I could learn from my mistakes. If a person isn't honest with themselves then they're just lying. I used to lie to myself all the time. Looking at myself and my life for what it is now and accepting it, warts and all, has made me so much happier than lying to myself pretending everything was fine. This year I set out to love myself and I accomplished that goal. Pretty badass :)

I am bursting with love and happiness :)   

Monday, December 9, 2013

But Why?

Beginnings are always difficult for me so I will start with… Hello… I'm Tania. Since I was little I loved asking questions and finding out why things are the way they are. Today, I'm 26 years old and I am still little, for the good Lord did not grace me with the gift of height, and still asking questions and figuring out why things are the way they are. I don't have all the answers, sometimes I have very few, but I'm willing to look for the answer and for me that feels like a good start. My reason for starting a blog is to share my ideas with others and find understanding in this ever-changing world by exchanging information in a respectful, compassionate way.

To give you a brief history on myself I am a Hispanic woman, first generation American, a pediatric visiting nurse, and recently endured the most chaotic, uprooting three years of my life. Through first hand experiences I've hurt, learned, accepted, and evolved all for the better. 

Life is traumatic. Through my experience as a nurse I've seen babies born and have been there as the elderly have taken their final breath; both experiences intensely beautiful and intensely painful. That's life- one giant contradiction. Take a second to realize we're on a big rock spinning in circles around a giant ball of fire in an endlessness of darkness. I'm not making that up- the Earth is in space, we revolve around the Sun, these are facts. How crazy is that? I look at that and say, that doesn't make sense! But it just is and we continue our lives everyday never thinking about it because we accept it and move on. Life doesn't always make sense. Sometimes people are cruel, unfortunate experiences happen to us but through acceptance and understanding we can move on and continue our lives without letting things affect us so deeply. 

I love to understand. I ask so many questions because I truly want to have an understanding of a subject. I'm sure in college I annoyed people in class with my constant questions and participation but if I was going to learn something I wanted to understand it the best way I could. I was donned a teacher's pet many times over but it was because I took personal time out to speak to my teachers and professors to further my understanding. Go figure that teachers like students who enjoy learning :). Through my constant openness to new information I was able to do much more than gather the facts I requested, I unintentionally learned how to create connections with people. 

Looking back I realize how many of my teachers and professors treated me like a peer rather than a child. Through our discussions after class, one on one, they would open up and tell me about their lives, their experiences and how they got where they were. As a kid I thought I was weird because I really did want to create positive relationships with my teachers. I thank my endless need of approval for that but what ended up happening was magical and it's a lesson I only recently learned. Understanding and respect is made possible through open, respectful communication. My teachers treated me like an equal because I respected them and brought new ideas to the table they had never considered. Through open, respectful discussion I was able to understand and be understood. In this age of technology basic social skills have been lost. We don't know how to interact and empathize with one another anymore. Social events cause many people immense amounts of anxiety. We live in a time where we take our freedom of speech for granted and only use it to judge and hurl hateful words at others. This has to change. 

To learn, a person must be willing to confront the truth and accept the answer even if it makes them uncomfortable. They must also be willing to share and accept information in a non-judgmental way. This is a struggle for most people because our convictions are what makes up our everyday lives. Remember when you were a kid and you learned something new and it just blew your mind in the most exciting way? "You mean the moon isn't made out of cheese?!" Somewhere along the line we lose the excitement and openness to learn new information because our fear of being wrong gets in the way. 

For some reason when we get to a certain age we convince ourselves that we have to know all the answers and if we don't it means we're huge failures. So when we don't know the answer we feel defensive and lash out just because we can't admit that we don't know something. So many times when I was growing up my father would tell me I couldn't do something or go somewhere. I would ask why and he would respond with, "Because, NO! Because I'm your father and I say so." As a kid this would infuriate me and make me feel small but I would always confidently retort back before storming away, "That's not an answer!" As I grew up, my father and I butt heads because I wanted to understand and he was unable to communicate. What I didn't know then which I know now is that he couldn't communicate because he didn't know how- he was never taught and is too stubborn to admit it. Now that I'm older I understand that "Because I said so!" means, "Because I love you and I'm scared you'll get hurt. Because losing you would be devastating to me." But only through having an open-mind, love and compassion did I come to understand him.  

What I'm trying to do with this blog is share information and insight through personal/professional experience, research and real individual's anecdotes. All I have ever wanted in life is understand why things are the way they are and use that information to help others. I chose my profession to help ease the suffering of others. As I grow older I recognize that individual's (myself included) don't know how to communicate with one another or cope emotionally. There has been a complete lack of focus on individual's mental and emotional wellbeing in this country. I want to do whatever I can to change that. I'm starting with a blog. So… That's why.