I've been writing for Empowered Curvy for only a few months, and it's been wild. Fun and wild! Like the meme says: Just like a walk in the park: Jurassic Park!
This adventure, like many others in my life... I have kept it a quasi-secret. Haven't made a big fuss of this, but someday I will.
A lot was happening in my life before starting my Empowered Curvy journey. This is not a new thing. I'll tell you!
My journey to writing began when I was just 6 years old. I was in first grade and I remember my teacher telling the classroom about a poetry contest. At that age, I knew nothing about poetry or literature or anything. In fact, the only thing I knew was to write: words, sentences, numbers, math problems. The "writing" was -I think- the first skill my mom taught me. Writing and reading at the age of 4, I was like a prodigy baby!
Having developed at 4 what other kids start learning at the age of 6, I was always bored. My cousin and I, hitting each other with our Natiora dolls right in the middle of the classroom, got into plenty of trouble.
I remember going back home (the day that the competition was informed) and asking my mom about poems or how to write one. I believe she told me a vague summary of whats and hows before resuming her never-ending tasks. With the little I had, I made my journey to the living room. Kneeling in front of the couch, I started scribbling sentences that eventually discarded and joined and discarded again. Until it was time to go to bed.
The next day, I went to my teacher -shyly- and asked her help to join the competition. Little I knew that I would embark on a journey to regionals to end up in none other than First Place!
The boost of confidence I got by winning that first huge trophy was most needed for a little poor Puerto Rican girl who was taught to be compliant, obedient, and to never speak up.
At that little age, I already admired women who were impossible to intimidate and visualized myself like them when growing old. I was inquisitive and persistent, and not easy to feel convinced.
Around that age, I was always sick. I was asthmatic. And on top of that, I developed some muscular dystrophy that reinforced a strong and consistent relationship between me and the floor. So, putting my mind and efforts into something like poetry was a fresh breeze after been secluded in a volcano. That's what I felt with all the medical testings I endured.
After that first poem, I became obsessed with writing. I hid during the nights just to have extra time to write a little more. And when the lights went off, I still tried to write in a notebook I hid under my pillow. Nothing interested me as much as writing. But that didn't bother me at all.
As I became a teenager, this muscular atrophy became a source of mocks from stupid and dumb people. When I wasn't the source of jokes, I was the source of "pity". "What a shame! A girl so pretty has to walk that way". "Poor girl". "She'll never have a whole life". "She'll never find a husband". "It's for the best if she doesn't bring kids to this world... to suffer like that".
Distant from a society that was retrogressive and discriminatory, I was forced into this little and very personal bubble. Even the school system labeled me as different, trying to move me from my advanced classes to special education because I had a physical condition. This social inability to be seen as a normal person because I had muscular dystrophy pushed me to write a little more every day, but still, I kept my inspiration focused mainly on poetry. Competition after competition, the first places and I became really good friends. I knew what was needed to be triumphant and I gave my best.
When writing wasn't enough, I went to the library to have some books on hand. My paternal grandma used to read Harlequin novels that she found at the supermarket or the pharmacy. One day, behind my parents' backs, she gave me one of Sara Craven's books. Voraciously, I finished it in just an hour. I was instantly addicted. I needed more!
Of course, that wasn't the type of book my parents would have allowed me to read. They preferred me close to an encyclopedia or dictionary, or a science textbook. Never they would have allowed me to read romance or reinforce that kind of emotion. God forbids! I was raised to be submissive and obedient, not a woman with feelings and strong opinions.
But the damage has been done! I was in love. I needed my drug. Those books. The romance. The feelings. Those beautiful words transported me to another dimension, right in the middle of each of those scenes I was reading about.
Me being so different from how I was raised, plus the medical condition and the mockery I had to endure caused me lots of trouble. For my parents, accepting I was everything they didn't want me to be was almost impossible. Still, I swam against the current my family tried to teach me to follow. I made sure to keep that new person I was discovering right there by my side, present but invisible to them. It was for the best to be unnoticed. I know they didn't see it the same way. In their best parental effort and out of their most profound love, they thought they were doing what was right and needed to protect me. But I didn't need protection. I needed to live, to see how the world really functioned, to be hurt, to heal on my own.
In those efforts to pretend to be like everybody wanted me to be, I failed. I wasn't willing to surrender who I truly was and who I wanted to become just because my family's ideas were stuck in some past century.
"Because you're a woman" was usually the excuse to deprive me of doing anything. "Because he's a man" was the other phrase I came to hate with my heart and soul. I thought we were persons with equal rights and equal responsibilities. But no, I was just a woman. Those words pushed me even farther to look for answers I wasn't receiving, for reasons, for support, or just for a world that was really meant for people like me.
By the age of 15, I had over 500 poems hidden in a vault. Jokingly, I used to say that box was my "dowry".
Locked under a padlock, my poems started reflecting emotions beyond the love to my island and my family, or my anger to my limitations as a woman. That's when men's influence starts to make an appearance in my written adventures.
Men helped me be this way. But, how wouldn't they?
When I was 15, I had plenty of pretenders that really meant nothing good, but I knew better. I distrusted men just because they could do whatever they wanted and we women were the only ones to suffer consequences and humiliations. Silly me, I promised myself to never marry.
At the age of 16, I had my first "official" boyfriend. It was a catastrophic relationship that didn't last long. This was a quick punishment for having expelled marriage away from my life.
I was full of goals and plans for my future. I wanted to be big. To reach the sky. I wanted no limitations for my career and my personal life. I wanted to be a lawyer.
He... let's say the street life was his life. And the life of lies he enjoyed painting for me. If I can say something good about him is that he was very supportive, I must painfully admit. He supported my dreams and aspirations. His life plan was for me to be a good lawyer so he could keep up paying for rum and drugs and hoes (with my money, of course, that would be his money once we say I DO...). And maybe to have a free out-of-jail ticket next time he got arrested. But he supported my dreams... because he expected to live from my sacrifice.
Thanks to him, to the anxiety that he bought into my seemingly insignificant life, I started writing short stories and essays. By that time, my grandma -that little angel that gave me Harlequin novels (but who also introduced me to that first boyfriend who won the nickname: Mutant Mammoth)- was diagnosed with breast cancer and the world turned to be an unfair place to live.
I don't know how exactly, but I found myself writing my first long novel: Fire Angel. I've never attempted to publish it but one day I will share it with you.
Before finishing High School, I had gathered lots of poetry and literature awards and my heart had been broken lots of times.
Before I was 18, I was already enrolled in the University with one whole year completed in my pocket. There, far away from home, I started discovering the world I've never seen before. I started meeting people who looked at me for who I was: a smart young woman with many talents, not like the girl with the funny walk.
I got married when I was 20. This relationship gave me my two most precious gifts: my two kids. These two are a blessing sent from Heavens. With this relationship I learned a lot. If I were to live it all again, I will get pregnant with my two kids sooner and divorce even quicker.
His mom was a painful addition to my married life. She criticized me on every level. When I gained weight, I was so fat. When I became fit and lost 120 pounds I was sick. My clothes weren't appropriate. My way of being a mom was not approved. She even enjoyed mentioning his ex-wife and how awesome she was, and that I would never be like her. Such a pity they didn't stay together. I would have traded him with his ex for just a juice box. His mom would go free!
That woman never saw reprimand for treating me like garbage and I resented it every single day of my marriage. He always defended her, justifying her mean attitudes every single time. Truth is, he never respected me enough to give me my place, to treat me like I deserved. But I learned the hard way I wasn't the woman of his life. His mom was.
When things went wrong in our marriage, he would go to my own family to put them against me, and he succeeded easily. Full of allies, he would even cry to convince the most stubborn. I, always strong, a heart of steel, "frigid" and "cold" woman, would never be seen as the victim of all that, but the only one to blame. I could take the blame, believe me! I did for many years.
Other times, he would engage in stupid discussions with my family and I ended being a mediator in their brawls. My life sucked a little more every passing day and I asked myself why I keep allowing such sadness and misery in my life.
This war with him, my family and his mom was the crucial moment that pushed me into understanding. I needed to protect who I was. I would never be the woman she expected. I would never be the woman he expected. I would never be the woman my own family expected. But why would I?
On happy notes, he was very supportive as well. He wanted me to hurry up to write a few novels, hoping for them to become the next Twilight or Harry Potter and I magically become a millionaire. Not because he wanted me to be successful but because that way he could fulfill his lifelong dream of quitting his job and staying at home.
Even when he knew I wanted a divorce, he kept dragging me with him. He would say hurting things and I had to go after him, cleaning his mess, fixing hearts, trying to glue together what was broken with my extra broken soul. One day I knew I had way too much. At my radio interviews, he requested to be interviewed as well. This forced me to ask myself: Why is he trying to steal away from me this little success? Why he has to make my efforts about him?
Men! Oh, men! Divorce was imminent. Painful but extremely necessary. The boundaries I had established for that relationship were long gone and violated. It needed to end. And it did.
Happiness started to come into my life. I was free from people who wanted nothing but to see me fail. Then, I met someone. I'd known him since we were teenagers. I was more than distrusting, but with reasons. I was waiting for the day when he would just take my heart and stab it till the last drop of blood has dripped. My hopes for him were so little but it wasn't his fault. It was mine. I decided to truly know him with sadness in my life and a humiliated, broken heart.
His parents didn't approve of me. I was a divorced, independent woman. I have two kids. My way to protect female rights is too much for traditional people or just for men with super macho egos. They said I was a castrator because I call myself a feminist. But the truth is I'm not manipulable. I am firm with my truth. I have my own income. I'm the kind of woman they don't want as part of their family. They make me aware of it. So, I am not a part of their family. And never will be. Not because it was their decision to make, but because I refuse to lower my standards and give those people permission to humiliate me.
Life bought me here:
After self-publishing a few novels back in my hometown Puerto Rico, I started a new journey: business owner. This stage of my life lasted little because two hurricanes came and all the investment was lost. The opportunity to move to Georgia appeared like sent from God himself and we ventured into this new journey. By then, I was journaling everything as a way of releasing some anger and frustration (a combination of things that predominated in my life by then). By 2019, I promised myself I should gift myself my own blog and website for my birthday. And I did.
What should I write? What if I run out of words? What if people know who I am? What if people get mad at me? What if those who know me get mad for what I decide to share with you? What if nobody agrees with me?
So many questions to answer in so little time.
What should I write?
That was easy. I should write about experiences and things that I love. My journey to being the woman I am today has been one full of many experiences. Marriage. Divorce. Re-doing my life. Overcoming. Motherhood. Gaining weight. Losing weight. Depression and anxiety. Creating a healthier relationship with food. Being mocked or rejected. Re-marrying. Goodbyes. Welcome backs.
All those things led me to love myself even more. I learned to accept who I am and to try to make myself even better every day.
What if I run out of words?
As if that's possible! I've been talking for 37 years! I've been defending my beliefs since I have memory. How would I run out of things to say? I've reinvented myself so many times so far that's impossible to have nothing left to say.
What if people know who I am?
Good! Isn't that the purpose of it all? To be known. To share what you know with the world and receive reasons to learn back?
What if people get mad at me? What if those who know me get angry for what I share with you?
Wouldn't be the first time. People have gotten mad at me since 1983 so, one more isn't a big deal! At this point in my life, I don't care if people get mad for what I say or write about. I come from a "conservative" family. Women are meant to be submissive and obedient and I am none of those things. I am surrounded by 50% of people who use God to manipulate and control others. The rest have different beliefs. Me talking about sex and relationships and the truth of things is like a kick in the scrotum with a steel-toe boot for the majority. And I really don't care. People have stopped talking to me, they even threatened me when I decided to divorce. Angry people? I've met them all!
What if nobody agrees with me?
That's perfectly fine with me! I have a unique vision of the world and that's good. Sharing with you what works for me is the purpose of my writings. We can be in total disagreement and still be friends. We can have opposite opinions and still, respect each other!
And so, I did!
Writing about sex and successful relationships is no piece of cake. There's no way in the world you could defend a lifestyle that it's impossible to have or sustain. That's one of the reasons why I created Empowered Curvy. I wanted to share with you that there are a lot of ways to make a marriage works if both parties are 100% involved. That's when these sexy challenges and tricks come in handy.
I wanted to share with you that first of all, the relationship you need to cultivate is with yourself. The love you need to grow first is to yourself. You need to water it and clean it and protect it above everything else. Despite all the storms, you need to make time for yourself.
I'm determined to never lie to you. There are chances when failure is unavoidable and I aim to be open and honest with you about it as well. I've been there too. I've faced failure, sadness and rejection. That's why I always enforce self-love and empowerment. There's nothing you cannot do if you set your heart and efforts to it.
I've learned to recognize I'm not perfect but it's perfectly fine. I admit that sometimes I suck like a mom. And most probably, there are days that I suck as a wife. I'm totally convinced I suck like daughter and sister, and that's fine as well.
All those bad moments -and the good ones too- have made me understand I cannot have it all, but I can choose what to keep. I have learned to put a halt on relationships that are damaging. I have learned to create boundaries and protect them. I have learned to put myself first sometimes. I have learned to say no when it's required. I have learned that's perfectly acceptable to be just human, to have flaws, to don't expect to be perfect all the time. I have learned to look for that happy midpoint of acceptable and perfection and be satisfied there.
I have learned to speak up, to defend my beliefs, to teach my kids that we are all equal, to respect.
Starting this blog reassured the trust I have in myself. It reminded me to be respectful of others' opinions even when mines are violated.
I have learned the hard way to love without expectations. And to trust even when my guts tell me otherwise.
What have you learned so far? I hope you stay at my house -Empowered Curvy- for a long time and share this journey with me. Subscribe here to never miss a great post!
Lots of love,