My Radical Conclusion

Blog May 2, 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

I am still pretty much fuming over yesterday’s ridiculousness over the embarrassment I exhibited in the doctor’s office. But instead of being negative about it, I decided to be productive and spent the remainder of the day searching for a new primary care physician (female this time, and a real doctor not these cute P.A.’s or whatever bullshit scam this country is peddling upon its citizens in lieu of legitimate healthcare). I also found a reputable ENT relatively nearby so that I am able to officially get some sort of hearing aid device for myself. I am sick and tired of being treated like a second class citizen. And I shouldn’t have to explain why I decided to start taking better care of myself. I am doing so because I fucking want to that’s why!

I was born in America. I have worked incredibly hard over the years just like everyone else. My means for someday obtaining financial freedom may be unconventional and not understood by those who were brainwashed into thinking that having someone else signing your paycheck is the only way to be respected and valued in the community. I am fiercely ambitious and you may consider me crazy but I will not stop fighting for a better life, for a better world, and my way of doing that is through my writing and art. This year, I feel that I have seamlessly transitioned from hobby writer to career writer and even though I’m not rolling in the dough, I have value, I am respected in my field, and I do deserve the same consideration and care as everyone else on the planet.

I read this amazing quote by Audre Lorde today. She once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” That’s the mantra I am currently adopting. I’m not going to let anyone guilt me into thinking that I’m not worth proper healthcare and I don’t have to justify why I’m seeking assistance in getting hearing aids, or bloodwork, or any other thing that will ensure that I remain healthy and mentally happy and at peace.

For years, I’ve allowed people to bring me down, to mock me, to make me feel inferior. But what have those people truly accomplished in their lives? Anyone can get married and/or divorced, have a slew of unruly kids, settle for a nine to five job making someone else richer, buy a home, a car and buy other materialistic bullshit that they just don’t need. I once prescribed to that notion. I felt hollow, empty for not being like everyone else. I tried the whole relationship thing. I was fed notions of possibly having a happily ever after, living in my own home, and all that. But I realized happiness is found from within and I feel truly fulfilled and free when I’m writing. I feel validated and purposeful and I know that my message is a strong one and others need to hear this message too so that we can all break these damaging so-called social norms that make people believe they need to achieve certain things and reach certain goals in order to make them feel whole. Granted, one may feel fulfilled with the lives that they currently have. I’m not arguing that my way is better than anyone else’s. My argument here is to respect that there is more than one way to fry an egg. Happiness is individualized. My happiness differs from yours. And vice-versa. I realize I give too much clout to others and their opinions. But it makes me fucking furious thinking there are people out there who appear villainous and actually thrive on seeing people fail and falling flat on their faces. This rage fires deep within me and I will not stop until I am recognized for my positive contributions to society.

I noticed right away since I was a little girl that I was not like everyone else. My first bra was a neon green disaster. I wore neon pink bicycle shorts and a playboy t-shirt hand-me-down from my older brother. My hair cuts were never fashionable and always uneven. I always got dirty from doing somersaults in the park falling into piles of geese-poop horribly embarrassing family and friends. I have fallen down concrete steps, knees bleeding profusely, while my dad was part of a Portugal day festival in the city hall where I grew up totally shaming my family and godparents. I have fallen down stairs more often than not, that was a major theme in my childhood. I have fallen after attempting to climb a retaining wall in fear of missing the school bus as my sister watched in horror from the school bus in front of all of her friends. I am shy, I am weird, I don’t smell the greatest all the time, I cry a lot and can’t control my emotions and sometimes appear somewhat of a crazy person when I am horribly triggered by cruel and mean-spirited people. I’m outspoken and feisty and have this unusual blend of soft-heartedness and lion-heartedness that often fight together until they harmoniously decide to get along and help me be the productive person that I am today.

I say and do weird things making others uncomfortable. I curse like a sailor on leave, I burp, I fart, I eat with my elbows on the table, I am comfortable talking about my bowel movements in front of family at the dinner table, I laugh at fart jokes and enjoy potty humor, and I wear dresses with stains on them that are not ironed and have cat fur all over them. My hair is in knots, my mother and sister forced me to dye my hair because it had ten-inch gray roots and they bought me hair dye from the supermarket so that I’d look decent for my latest newspaper interview. I may look like I have it all put together in my profile picture, but I’m a wild, feral, hot mess and I have been this way since the day I popped out of my mom’s vagina.

I say and do awkward shit, I can count the number of friends I have on one finger, I eat noisily and fast, I enjoy Mexican food and ice cold root beer and I am done apologizing for who I am.

For those who question why I dress well and have nice boots even though I don’t currently make a lot of money with my writing, don’t realize that my clothes are either donated to me by my mom since we are the same size, or clothes I have purchased years ago when I was teaching. I am not fussy about clothes and just wear old stuff that I take care of because I’m not a behemoth beast. I also notoriously hate wearing shoes and I only own 5 pairs of shoes. I own flip flops to wear around the house, sneakers to go walking in outdoors, my very old Doc Martens flowery boots which may look nice on the outside but smell like your grandma’s crotch on the inside from years of wear, my sandals for the summer that are on their last leg and are about to bust apart at the straps, and my winter boots to ward against ice and snow. I am sick of justifying who I am to others who lack any sort of emotional intelligence or even general intelligence. The amount of willfully ignorant people around me are astounding and no amount of education can create the level of self-awareness and common sense people need to really pay attention to the things that really matter around us.

To the person who stole my quarter bug juice at snack time consecutively every day for 180 school days in Kindergarten and I never said a thing to stop her, to the kid who spat in my face with a mouth full of ham and mayo every day at lunch consecutively every day for 180 days in 1st grade and I never said a thing to stop him, to the little bitch who lied and told the teacher I threw her down the stairs during dismissal when I was nowhere near her in line and I never defended myself, to the teacher who shamed me when I didn’t understand long division showing the class my paper with a zero on it trying to shame me into somehow magically passing not realizing it wasn’t because I wasn’t studying, it was because I just didn’t understand what to do and she did a lousy job teaching me, who will also never know that I got straight A’s in math from senior year in high school all throughout my college career including bachelors, masters, and doctorate years, to the bullies who called me fat and have compared me to every fat actress out there like that is some sort of insult when all of those so-called “fat actresses” are the people whom I admire the most in Hollywood, to the student who called me an idiot who provided the final straw on my last day of substitute teaching and made me finally realize that it was time to move on and taught me that I deserved so much more than the bullshit I was being served, to all of my abusers and oppressors of all forms who have created this neurotic, anxious, and often, depressed individual, I will continue to fight not for you, not because of you, but in spite of you and your patheticness. I continue to write in spite of you. I pour my emotions on this page in spite of you. To send a message to the world, who so desperately needs to hear it that whatever someone does and whatever their circumstances are, happens to be none of anyone’s business but their own, and what works for one person does not work for all. Everyone is on the same team and we are all battling the same villains. Instead of turning on each other and being cruel and meanspirited, reach your hand out to heal, not to destroy. Because you don’t know what is going on in another person’s mind. You’ll never know. I’ll leave you all with another one of my all-time favorite quotes from R.J. Palacio’s marvelous book, Wonder, “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” Believe me. It makes all the difference!

By the way, I chose today’s photo because it looked like the middle flowers were flipping the bird. It seemed apropos given today’s topic. Alright, NOW I will choose kind! 🙂

(Of course, I appreciate all of my readers and followers but I wanted to give a shout out to one new follower in particular who gave me props for yesterday’s blog–My message to you is to always keep fighting for what truly matters in life and never let anyone tell you no!)

 

Recognizing the Strong and Ambitious Woman

blog january 8th 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019.

When I first decided I was leaving education back in 2016 to pursue writing full-time, I was terrified. I had spent my entire adult life as either a substitute teacher or full-time educator. I was always doing some sort of traditional job where someone signed my paychecks and I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to pay my own bills. Becoming a full-time writer wasn’t an easy transition for me. I spent my time, in the beginning, learning about how to go about building The Moonlit Goddess writing line. The whole process was a serious learning curve for me.

What genres would I focus on? What were my blogs going to be about? How would I go about reaching a loyal following? Would people criticize my writing? What happens if I suck? These were all things that were rushing through my mind. I tried to remain positive and tried my best to just focus on the day to day and like a baby learning how to swim for the first time, I just dove right in! Mistakes would be made. I’d learn and adjust and fine-tune and create what I have to say is an admirable and respectable writing line.

I learned a lot about myself since starting this venture. I learned that there are a lot of people out there who are envious of my passion, charisma, and positivity. I remember one conversation I had with a fellow educator, who has since died, told me once that when you’re doing something right in life, your stuff will be so good that people will want to steal from you!

I never really related to this bit of sage wisdom until very recently. I realized that if people are emulating what I am doing, then I must be doing something right!

2018 was a horrible year for me. I was stagnant in my writing, I was making excuses, I gained weight, I was depressed, miserable, I hated myself. I really was going nowhere fast. I was miserable in dealing with my dad every day. I feel horrible for what my dad is going through and I wouldn’t wish dementia on my own worst enemy but at the same time I am resentful to be caring for this man who, when I was growing up, would rather put on his shoes so fast to get away from his family than to celebrate a birthday, a holiday, or come to a spring concert, or sit with one of his kids when they were sick with colds. It takes a completely special individual to put all that hatred and negativity aside and provide the quality care my whole family is administering to my father now. There was just so much inner turmoil going on that I relied on another person, wrongly, as a safety crutch. I realize now what a huge mistake that was and how much I cheated myself in 2018.

2019 didn’t start off much better. My money is ever dwindling, I started the new year running to the bank to deposit one lousy dollar so my bank account wouldn’t be charged an overdraft fee when they extracted the monthly seven dollar fee, and getting into a minor fender bender. I laughed to myself at how I thought by doing that sage smudging/burning ceremony that it would somehow represent a new beginning for me in 2019 but I’m wondering if I just unleashed holy hell on myself and if this is what I’m meant to experience in 2019–one ridiculous flub after another!

I consider myself a strong and ambitious woman. I’ve been through the depths of hell, slapped on my war paint more times than I can count and entered the trenches of war-torn areas of the darkest parts of my psyche. I’ve been through worse in the past and this to me is nothing new and nothing that I can’t handle.

On a positive note, 2019 does have some shining moments. My writing has never been stronger, and I do have some leads on some freelance writing opportunities. As I stare at my ledger of the list of upcoming bills that are soon due, I know that the clock is ticking and I need to keep writing daily if I am to survive in this business. I also know that as a strong and ambitious woman, what makes me strong and ambitious are all of the twists and turns and the ups and downs. I can’t expect life to be a straightforward path. There will be tons of obstacles and tragedies that I will face and it is how I face them that matter, not the tragedies themselves that I must focus on and I know with that powerful knowledge in my hands I know that I am going to be just fine.

Esta Menina Pequena

blog post january 3rd 2019 part 2

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019.

This winter has been spent renovating the attic to use as my bedroom/office. I have been nesting and decorating and painting and getting things just right for the new year so I can begin writing full-time once more. It is pretty much up and running. I just have a few odds and ends that need to be fixed.

The office doesn’t have a functioning light fixture so I have been relying on a very old lamp that is pretty much rendering me blind LOL! But I am making due for now. I am hoping someone will take pity on me (Not at all name dropping, DOM!) can come over soon and help make a new light fixture possible so your poor sister doesn’t go blind.

Anyhow, now that the office is basically functional, I have been doing a lot of housekeeping with my website and my writing agenda for 2019. During the holiday break, I was doing some cleanup in the basement and came across my old writing folder from when I was a teenager. I keep finding my old writings all over the house!

This particular folder meant quite a huge deal to me when I was young. It has all of my poetry, my short stories, my plays, and even goofy magazines that I had drawn as a joke. It was nice revisiting my younger self. The things that influenced me then still do so today. For instance, my 6th-grade teacher was the person who got me into Ray Bradbury and in the folder, I had a research paper from high school about Ray Bradbury. So her influence resonated throughout the remainder of my life. I am deeply touched by that. Of all of the years that I spent in the education system, I hope that at least one of the students who I taught over the years felt that kind of connection and hopefully I made a positive impact in their lives somehow.

Flipping through all of my written work also made me a little melancholy. I had my whole life plan in this folder and I never even realized it.

I don’t know what I was thinking at that age. I didn’t understand what the impact of my indecisions would do to my adult life. I find myself constantly running in circles aimlessly without direction, without hope of ever getting myself out of this slump that I perpetually find myself in. Others aren’t so lucky as I am. To have suffered as I have suffered throughout my life, many others who have endured the same would’ve ended their lives years ago. I just am holding out hope that there is a greater purpose to this immense and recurring suffering. I am praying that this whole journey is worth it in the end. I want to believe that that is true.

So for 2019, I am moving forward. I am using this writing folder as my fuel, my determination, my drive, and my promise to my younger self that I will achieve the goals that I had set out to do as a young girl and never had the confidence, the courage, the strength, or the power to do in the past. I am going to block out all negativity. I will not allow anyone ever again to get in my way. I will just keep working on myself. I will do the best that I possibly can do and forget all the toxic people who just will never understand me and will never see me for anything other than the flaws that weigh me down.

I am alone. I’ve been alone for 38 years. And I will be alone for another 38 years. That is my albatross. And I am fine with it. Now it’s time to get serious and get writing. Here’s to 2019. May it not suck as much as 2018.

blog post january 3rd 2019