The Exchange

“Suddenly someone comes along and insists in

changing your life, making it a little less complicated. Little by little, day by day, smiling and trusting that the best is yet to come. Rare, special, the kind of person who are worth fighting for and if I had to choose an ending,

it would’ve been one like this one, because you have taught me that life isn’t about turning a page of a calendar, but understanding that every page of that calendar is unique and unrepeatable. My heart is already too small for how great you are”

Those were the words I kept reading all over the internet. It was written in Spanish and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try and translate it or at least convey the same feeling. I read them and couldn’t help but to think of Ahmad. He is that kind of person. The kind that walks into your life and takes you by surprise.

He was the change in my life but also the constant balance to my chaos. My partner in the war against time and distance. With him, I understood that life was more than counting days. Life is about making the days of the calendar count because every single one of them is an opportunity to build something better and be one day closer to our goals, our future. I know that meeting him was a once in a lifetime occurrence. You don’t get that lucky twice.

Today is Valentine’s Day and everyone in a LDR knows it can be challenging. We know that love is not about a single day…but days like this one reminds me that as each page of a calendar change, we keep sharing details and making memories even in the distance. After all, love is about that. Its all in the details.

Note: The first part of the post (El Intercambio) is a loose translation of something I saw on different websites while doing an internet search.

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Share A Little Stardust

Decide to live your life like a great adventure. Dream big and make it happen. Life is full of opportunities… grab them, make them yours and help others see theirs too.

Make giving a part of your nature. Don’t love others thinking about what you can get in return, but expecting to build beautiful things that will last forever.

Be the architect of your life and your dreams. Design your life thinking that you deserve the best out of it.

Share love as it is stardust and you want to share pieces of a shooting star before it’s gone from our lives.

One last thing: find a place where you belong and try to help others feel like they can belong too.

Goodbye 2017 (can’t wait for it to be over)

I’ve never liked goodbyes but in this case I can make an exception. I can’t wait for this year to be over. It has been one filled with trials, hardships and many challenges in all aspects of my life. Sadly, I can’t say that I passed them all will flying colors.

I’m sitting here with a beer in my hand thinking about new year’s resolutions when the truth is that I don’t have any. What I’m trying to do is make up my mind on what I need to leave behind and how to move forward. Is there something to look forward to? Or more of the same?

Tomorrow I start a new year. I don’t want to see it as a continuation of what I have right now… unshaped thoughts, cancelled plans and unfinished projects. Only a few minutes left… goodbye 2017.

The New Normal

September 20, 2017. I will remember this date for a long time. It was a little after 3am when communications started to fail due to heavy rain and wind. I sent txt messages to my closest friends and bf to let them know what was happening and that I didn’t know when I would be able to talk to them again.Hours later I was still taking glances outside my window watching tree branches, tv antennas and poles falling. By the time we could go out it was a disaster.

Hurricane Maria was a category 5 when it arrived to the island. It destroyed our power grid, more than 90% of our communications and we had no water service. No one was prepared for that kind of destruction even when we took the same measures we do every year: we get cash out of the ATM, we buy canned food, gas and water.

I spent the next few days helping around where I live. That’s something my dad instilled in us (my brother and I) since we were kids and I taught the same to my son. I work in a government agency that starts to work soon after this kind of event because we aid people in different ways and/or programs. We did our best since the beginning.

I have to say that it was heartbreaking to hear the stories and see pictures the first few days when I was assigned to work at a refuge. To see a wreckage where a house used to be. To hear people saying they only had the clothes they were wearing or that they only thing they were asking for was food. The second day a few of us were there with bags full of clothes because we didn’t know what else to do.

A week went by and you could see the panic in people’s faces. No electricity. No way of communicating with your loved ones to say you were ok or to find out if they were ok. No water. No money. People couldn’t use their EBT cards to buy food. If you needed gas you had to wait long hours in line and when we started running out of food… I had to go to another town to find a store and wait outside in long lines. We didn’t choose what to buy, we had to buy what was available at the price it was no matter how ridiculous.

That became the new normal. Government help was taking too much time and everyone was desperate. It wasn’t easy to see a family sitting outside of the disaster that looked to be their house before Maria. All I could do was work hard to help people and wait. A lot of people forgot that we were having the same situations at our homes and we did our best to forget about them while we were supporting others. Not long after what happened, people started to flee the island in search for help, opportunities or to stay with relatives after they lost everything.

After time asking myself if I still had a bf (haha) I managed to call a mutual friend. I didn’t have internet until recently so I could only txt my s/o through mutual friends who became our personal messengers (thanks to my Sis and Sean) or after I became a master of borrowing Wi-Fi. Turns out he was searching for news on social media and even messaged people to get news of my residence area (best bf ever!)

I received a lot of support messages on social networks from friends, acquaintances and even a phone call from a dispatcher to verify my well-being. Turned out a friend from another country opened a case for me and my family after not being able to contact me.

A few months have gone by. There is a sense of normalcy in some places. You drive around, work, go to the mall, buy a few things… as the saying goes, life goes on. Still, you see reminders everywhere: the blue tarps on rooftops, vegetation and debris on the side of the roads, towns with 0% electricity, people charging their electronic devices in the mall. For now, this is the new normal.

Thankful… Happy Anniversary My Love

Days are special because we give them meaning. We celebrate on different occasions and share those days with the ones close to us, the ones we love. Throughout the years we have celebrated Thanksgiving Day as a day to remember to be thankful for all we have (for life itself) for all we’ve accomplished and the family and friends we have. This year I have many things to be grateful for.

I’m thankful for life…after all we have been through here. For the family I have and the family I chose because they never cease to amaze me and support me in every decision I make (they know who they are). For an amazing job that allows me to help others, to spread a little kindness.

I’m thankful for Love… Four years ago (November 23, 2013) someone told me I was his girlfriend and I laughed at the joke. Today I celebrate one more year of shared jokes, many calls, countless text messages. Another year of learning to love across the distance, of walking through the storm together where he always takes my heart to safety.

There aren’t enough words to say how everyone touches your heart in their own way but their prints stay with you forever. For another year of shared memories… I’m thankful.

To The One Who Has My Love (Love Letter #4)

Giving up it’s easy. Staying after a fight to try and fix what’s wrong… that’s the real test. It seems that I always find the best words when I’m at the verge of letting my anger get the best of me. Love letters are relationship savers after all… don’t forget to let the love flow out in words. 


Confessions of a LDR gf

The next series of posts are titled Confessions of a LDR gf for a reason. Their purpose is to say or “confess” what every person in a ldr wished his s/o knew, but we are too afraid to point it out directly to our partners. We don’t want them to feel like they are failing. What we want to do is to remind them (and ourselves in the process) that we can build better, stronger relationships. Yes, thou it’s mostly us on the scene, I can’t leave out of the picture the true fact that there are guys out there fighting for another day to keep their LDR’s alive. Guys we salute you 😉 👍.

To start off I don’t want to demean or discourage anyone’s efforts, or way of handling their relationships. No offense intended on my part, but I do wish to open up and speak in the name of many struggling with the issues I’ll address today.

Nowadays in LDR’s we tend to pour out our hearts in actions, words, efforts and as in many cases we even give away a part of our lives we’ll never get back, and that part is our time so willingly and lovingly invested.

Not that we complain about it, we struggle, adjust and overcome it because of different time zones, circumstances and even cultural differences. Yet something comes to my heart and it troubles me at all times. I for example am a very emotional person, I feel everything I do has to be weighed before set out there for the world to see but that’s just me, I know for a fact each one of us handles this special kind of relationship as a delicate one because not everyone is made to withstand distance, or the type of relationship many will question.

My heartfelt attention is the tremendous weight of efforts made on our part that go unnoticed by our sentimental partners, or as we call them S/O. 

  • We plan our whole lives around our relationships so we can be available to call, text and video keeping in mind time differences and sometimes even sacrificing our social lives while theirs remain intact. 
  • Our endless tries as in posting, writing, idealizing, recreating and as I mentioned before giving so much life to our relationships that we end up drained in the midst of it all and without motivation as well, because of their lack of empathy, and contribution towards us.
  • We get inspired with a song, a thought, a feeling, and we wish to share that with our beloved but many times we barely get a response or any reaction from their part.  

Instead of getting our S/O attention, we end up showered and encouraged by others who know us well, and even dare to try out as suitors for our hearts. But do we give in to those suitors? Of course not!! We’re only into the object of our affection. If not, we’d be seeking the attention offered when others seem to know what we like, what we don’t, when something goes wrong and can tune in to our emotions. 

 Not many understand our devotion surpasses all of these things. In fact we have our ups and downs as those in a normal standard relationship, except we guard it with a not so invisible  shield of undivided attention. We continue to hope our feelings are felt, understood, delivered and reciprocated.
We can even compare it to an app used on a daily basis: we go to it, we text, we send, all in hopes it will be seen and replied to. Still seconds become hours in our hearts and when not understood we become wounded, and in some cases we hold our feelings back in avoidance of “confrontation mode” as I call it.

Our hearts are visited as a place of invisible encounters and rare meetings. Because we then begin to build a force field that repels any advances intending to break it down…but reality is we’re only trying to salvage any remains left of our soul’s feelings.

To read more about long distance relationships don’t forget to follow Dua e Maryam at Voice of a Broken Heart