Moving On, Moving Forward

Moving On, Moving Forward

We must carve our own paths.

I woke up this morning reflecting on the above. I feel that the best thing that ever happened to me was to thrive to be independent. I must confess it took longer than I expected.

I’m not sure if this is a thing but knowing that I’ll be 30 years old this year makes me introspective on my past, act in the present, and now see a more tangible future.

Saying ‘no’ to requests from others to protect my time and integrity has been key lately. I don’t want to be the person who is reached only when it is needed, nor being the facilitator to make things easy for someone when they are capable to do it themselves. The latter has been triggering to a point that I just stopped replying to such persons and even ignore them. Instant peace of mind.

I’m a helper by nature. However, I’m against stopping my overall growth as a person and especially hindering the growth of others. To elaborate, I do my best to not follow suit on favors, requests, etc. to friends, relatives, and colleagues who just want a quick fix on their needs or wants.

It is a bittersweet feeling knowing that people whom I considered close friends are now becoming distant because they don’t need anything from me. Which is a good thing and a reality check for me because I now understand that some people in life will only reach out when they need something from you who is going to benefit them exclusively.

During my quest on finding my voice through music and writing, I realize that I’m not like that. I don’t reach out to my network to ask for anything because I tend to do things own my own. I believe that there’s a dynamic that I tend to favor, which is helping someone when they’re not requesting it.

I believe there’s power in that.

When doing an act of good faith and at the same time not expecting anything in return that’s when to me, the magic happens.

I’ve been looking for opportunities to create an impact, even if minimal, within my circle of friends and relatives. Just doing, saying, or giving things that will help that person grow, and carve their own path with a new tool, new mental model, or new perspective.

There’s a thin line regarding that, and I must be mindful. Not everyone I know will take advantage when there’s opportunity to grow and move forward. Even me.

In short, I’m being more mindful on who I give my time and attention to. I want to know and find people who have a growth mindset and that like me, want to carve their own path.

It’s Not Your Time

It’s Not Your Time

It’s a way that sadness manifests itself. A depressive period where you’re trying to make yourself feel anything else other than you. Coping skills are what define you during this moment.

Please know that it won’t last forever. What you do during this period might do, however.

Continue reading “It’s Not Your Time”

Falling Gently

Falling Gently

This post is about self-awareness. I was on a funk for some time. Now, things are different because I think about them differently.

Its perspective.

As I’ve discussed on my last post update, I took a break from digital distractions. I realized in a few days how much time I had to do things that brought me joy. I’m working on song ideas after challenging the assumption that I’m too busy for music.

In reality, I wasn’t focused. 

Distraction took a toll on me.

The funk I experienced was a byproduct of how I was spending my time. I was feeling unproductive, without energy. I felt that I was heading towards a period of depression. I knew I wasn’t my usual self.

My mind and body were giving me the signals that I wasn’t living, but surviving. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was eating poorly. I was reactive instead of proactive.

I was falling gently into the vice grip of depression.

I had this feeling that I was sabotaging myself. I made the choice to be alone for some time to think. Taking stock on what I was doing, the story I was telling others and to myself. 

I parted ways with my now ex-partner. That turned out to be the catalyst for inner growth and self-improvement. It was a moment that gave me clarity. 

I learned that I can’t save others from themselves. I had to lose my self in the process to understand it. I had to take the fall. I just wished it wasn’t that gently, but I had to live the process, too.

It has been several weeks since then. What’s interesting is that my schedules got more demanding. I’m doing two positions at my job, plus my weekend internship, and my classes. I’m doing twice as more before the pre-onset of depression.

And you know what? I actually feel better. There’s power on time constrictions. Its making me get my act together, and start doing instead of focusing too much on my story. 

What I mean by the above is that I’m realizing how much our inner voice and what we say to others matters

If I keep thinking how miserable I am, and keep telling my story in that way, well, my perspective and belief system starts following that idea, too. I started to change my perspective and be mindful of how I tell my story. 

I started to be more aware with whom I was spending my time with. More importantly, to whom and to what I was giving my attention to. I started to break free from those self-imposed burdens.

I feel different since then. I feel that I’m reaching a different level of consciousness and awareness. I’m calmer, less reactive. My friends and colleagues tell me that I look different, happier, and at peace. 

I’m changing my story. I’m changing my environment and relationships. I’m not surviving for now, I’m living a different story. I’m confident that more challenges and set backs will come.

I won’t let them take me down gently when it happens.

Thank you for reading.

Mondai nai,

-Ernesto

Rx to Self: Part Four

Rx to Self: Part Four

This post is part of a series of experiences on healthcare. From realizations, patient navigation, and the implications of being divided by a border.

Symptom: Trying to do beyond of what I’m capable of, without proper rest

At the beginning, I was having between two to three hours of sleep at best. Specially the night when I took grandpa to the Emergency Department.

I’ve done this before for others in the US, but not in Mexico. While he didn’t need an ambulance, I took him because he was showing signs of a hearth attack.

I asked him to gather all his paperwork. I packed the medicines and lab work. I drove him to the hospital. 

Then I started thinking when he drove me to the doctor 11 years ago.

Things changed a lot for me since then.

Now things were going to change for him.

I felt that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.

We both knew that I was scared of not making it on time. Hell, we were both scared.

And there we where, driving at night. Sharing small talk and lots of silence. We didn’t had a proper meal during the day, nor the night. We weren’t hungry, or tired. We were unusually calmed and worried at the same time.

Call it being fine with chaos.

Rx to Self: Have your meals and rest in order to get things done

Rx to Self: Part Two

Rx to Self: Part Two

This post is part of a series of experiences on healthcare. From realizations, patient navigation, and the implications of being divided by a border.

Symptom: Not having health insurance

I didn’t really had an idea how to find, and be able to qualify for health insurance for my grandpa in Mexico. My intention at this stage was to get him on the healthcare system. I looked for options online to find possibilities on the private insurance sector. 

It turned out unsuccessful. 

My grandpa didn’t qualify for those insurances because of his advanced age and his now pre-existing heart condition. Also, for the couple of insurances that didn’t have an age cap, there was just not enough information to make a decision on them. Mainly because there were new.

I looked at binational health insurances that were tailored for individuals that cross the border on either side to get healthcare. Again, while they provided great services, prices, and co-pay options, my grandpa couldn’t qualify for them either.

By this point it was believed that he needed a pacemaker, therefore, surgery was necessary. Without proper health insurance, this procedure was too expensive given our socioeconomic status. 

I had a feeling of emptiness and few options. 

I managed to get both of my grandparents government insurance as a last resort. However, I was lost on how things worked.

Thankfully, there were people giving us their wisdom, time, and expertise. 

I was clueless, but not alone anymore. 

Rx to self: Think about your longterm health, and the health of your loved ones, too

Rx to Self: Part One

Rx to Self: Part One

This post is part of a series of experiences on healthcare. From realizations, patient navigation, and the implications of being divided by a border.

Symptom: I was taking the health of my loved one for granted

This idea applies to myself and to my loved one, my grandpa. For instance, just because I’ve never seen my loved one ill, it doesn’t mean that nothing is going on inside. Its like a great looking car, and assuming that runs fine. 

Until the car starts giving you signals that something is wrong.

 Along the way, you realize that the car its a classic, and that it has been on the road for quite sometime. And because it never really had any problems, you rarely gave it service other than gasoline and oil change.

You realize that taking anything or anyone for granted is in itself wishful thinking, to the point of believing that things shouldn’t change too much in life. 

Rx to Self: Question your assumptions

I’m talking about the impermanence of life. The first time you experience your own memento mori. The moment of awareness of your own mortality and its almost unpredictable end.  

After my own first attempt, I realized that it didn’t take much for me to do it, and with no hesitation. However, when someone you love and care about deeply is showing signs that life is compromised, the story is different. 

I felt the necessity of being present in the moment. I wanted share and experience life with my grandpa before it was too late. After all, he was the one who raised me and took care of me during dark times. 

It hit me hard when I got notified that something was wrong with him, and that there wasn’t a clear answer at the time. The uncertainty was nerve-racking.

Also, I felt guilt because at the time I wasn’t visiting him as much. 

My excuses were many. For instance, that I’m over-scheduled, that I have to cross the border back and forth in order to see him, and that in itself made me anxious and could trigger symptoms.

All of that bullshit vanished after knowing that he was ill. It was time to take action and prepare for the unknown. I wanted to be part of the process and provide help. It was my way of giving back.

This happened during the winter break. 

I never felt so focused, motivated, and with a courage that I didn’t even know I had.

It was time to get my act together and help my grandpa have a better quality of life. I wanted to do it, and that’s all I cared at the time. 

The problem was that I had no clue on how to navigate a healthcare system that wasn’t the USA. 

I had a lot of unanswered questions.

Time was running out.