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After the battle

So we took on the dragon.  While I don’t know if it’s slain, I know it’s languishing in its respective corner.

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Dragon

Meanwhile, I’m over in ours laid out.  Tired.  Spent.

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Me

Because, like the days following a half-marathon or the ressaca do carnaval, the days following a confrontation with an enemy are long.  In that time, te pondras a pensar.  You will ponder many things. I ponder my integrity and my identity.

Confrontation isn’t in my nature.  I’ve gotten better over the last decade about standing up for myself.  But I struggle with not becoming what I am fighting. I don’t want to be cruel, judgmental, resentful, or vindictive. I don’t like wishing the worst for others. While doing so may feel satisfying in the moment, it drains me in the long run.  I would rather heal and help.

So how do I sustain myself? I go back to the familiar and the beloved.  My child.

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Family costume 2016: 50s Flashback

Books.

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With the fabulous and hilarious Luvvie Ajayi

Laughter.

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Photobombed at Grace Jones 

Time outdoors.

Dance.

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Flash Mob Tribute to Prince, September 2016 

Family traditions.  My faith.

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My running club: Mis antepasados y muertitos queridos 

I turn back to that which feeds my soul and that which reminds me of who I am. I am a mujer constantly evolving.

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17 year old sideeye 

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Fox in Socks at 44 

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True friends, old frenemies, and very little middle ground

“Have you ever been stabbed in the back by someone you thought was really cool?” Jody Watley with Eric B., “Friends”

“My friends are real I know, true self you have shown you’re alright with me” Janet Jackson, “Alright”

By the time I became thirtysomething, I thought I had friendship down to an art and/or science. But friendships are relationships which involve imperfect humans, patience, compassion, and that quality some people fear more than hair loss, erectile dysfunction, or spiders, commitment. Sooner or later, I have been known to strike up a friendship that is lacking in a strong foundation or one that may compromise my values. Even as I get closer to 40, disappointment with so-called friends still happens from time to time.

In 2007, my loyalty was tested to its limit. Some friends proved not so true: judgmental or absent or just plain cruel. I ultimately surrendered to my own weakness and proved unreliable, burdensome, and vindictive right back. But health promotes health. My longtime friendships have survived and strengthened. My relationship with my mother has deepened to the point where she can accept my part-time shacking up with only one retort. When I have offered kindness, acceptance, and selflessness, it has been returned tenfold. Now, as I undergo a major life shift, I know I will be surrounded by genuine friends.

And what of those who have deleted me from their cyber and cel phone address books? I hope they find what they seek in themselves and others. I wish them well.