The New M.E. Generation











{August 31, 2015}   Looking Back 49 – Well done

The next day, Sunday, I woke up trying not to think about the incidents that had occurred the previous days. I try to do that with a daily routine of making coffee, picking up the bed, have breakfast, wash the dishes, get ready and go, either to work or run errands.

I couldn’t go to church the day before because of a heavy downpour that kept me at home. I definitely needed some spiritual distraction. His comments had touched a nerve with me on issues I have worked really hard to resolve. Even more, I was determined not to have anyone or anything disrupt my tranquility.

All these single years have been about me and I was not going to revert of losing who I was now as a person. It had taken me a lot of effort to develop an outside shell that just repelled all attacks or negativity that came my way.

He may be done with me and so do I with him, but there was something for me to say to be really that.

‘BTW, every time I reach out to you you’re busy. Then you appear out of nowhere and expect me to drop everything to be with you?’ text I.

‘Emma, I am busy. I have multiple businesses. No big deal. Just don’t bust my balls to come to Miami. I had a limo all weekend and could have come to you, although my suite is way nicer and more comfy. I could have sent the car for you. It didn’t work out. I’m not a planner…just the way I am.’

‘Fine but that’s how I operate. If you had told me ahead of time would have been better. My life may seem bland to you but it’s mine and I’m fine with it. It was very hurtful from your part bringing out my ex.’

‘All good. I need to get on a private jet now. You’re hung up on that. Let it go. It’s holding your life back.’

‘That’s my problem, not yours.’

‘And I let it go. So there. You’re the one always bringing it up.’

First of all, the suite you were may be awesome for you, but you’re been very rude downgrading my place. In fact, you’re been a total dick. I’m very comfy here, even when watching reruns. It’s my little kingdom and wouldn’t change it. And if your ‘balls’ aren’t into coming my way, why should I move mine for you?

Second, that I bring the ex up, really? When? We never talk. You’re always busy. You said it yourself. Again, had I complied with doing exactly as he wanted, nothing of this ‘conversation’ would have been said.

Third, you say you’re not a planner? Guess what, neither do I. Just because I’m single doesn’t mean I’m desperate to have sex with the first guy that comes along. You do with your life the same I do, whatever I want.

The limo suite and else sounds very inviting, but they feel as shallow as you, because there’s no feelings in them, other than fulfilling your needs.

You’re treating me as one of your other ‘toys’ that you have at you disposition to use whenever you want. You might think you can turn me ‘on’ whenever you want, but you’re really turn me ‘off’ time and again.

And as usual, the battle of words happened, but I was glad I said what I said.

I left my apartment very peaceful. It was a feeling that after today there would be no more communications between us both.

It was as if I had finally closed the chapter with this one and I’m glad it did. I felt stronger, more confident as a woman, and that’s all worth it.

So you see ‘beach guy’, I did take my life back as you told me to, but you’re no longer in it because I let go of what I really needed to: you. Done.



On Saturday I took care of other things, but made an effort to relax and rest as much as possible. My weekend was going as normal as usual, that is, until I get a text message from him.

‘Sorry for not being able to meet with you.’ Well, that’s a first, apologizing for something, especially from someone who has made it very clear that he will never admit making a mistake, because in his world, he never does.

‘No worries. Maybe next time,’ replied I.

What happened next I did not expect. He started criticizing me in such a way I became baffled to his behavior. What I did not grasp was that he didn’t apologize for not making time to see me, he was upset I didn’t make an effort to be with him!

It then became a war of words of ‘you said, he said’ in text mode. The exchange got to the point that no one wanted to lose this battle, so I started deleting them.

‘You overthink everything. You’re never fun, only combative and full of excuses. You’re probably in your pajamas watching reruns,’ said he.

‘And why does that bother you? I don’t criticize your life,’ said I.

‘Goodnight. BTW. You have. But once again. Whatever.’ So, you finally noticed someone else treating you the way you treat others.

‘When have I criticized you?’ Exactly, please give me the details as you clearly remember.

‘Stay pissed off at your ex the rest of your life. I remember when you were happy and adventurous. Full of life. I’ve learned life is too short to be bitter and unhappy. You are smart and beautiful. Go get it. Take over your life.’ Now he’s bringing out the ex card to deviate the real issue here.

Also, you remember me being what? Where, the beach? You basically had no contact with me at school.

Regarding my looks, that I know, and I get that from guys, but need more than that after I hear it. Lastly, I’m fine with my life and I’m living it in my own terms, not what you think should be.

‘Please do not criticize me any more. What I’ve learned in life is that as long as I do what others expect of me and fill their expectations, it’s all good. Once I don’t I’m then the problem with the ex issue,’ said I.

‘I’m done.’

You know what? I’m done too. I’m done with you always wanting to have the last word. I’m done with me being good to others and getting retaliated with a major guilt trip. I’m done with getting judged based on your reality when at the present you don’t know who I am.

Yes, I’m done with many things. But as it relates to him, sooner or later it was to happen like it just did.

I was still upset, but knew it was best to put the phone down again and walk away.

I may be still struggling with certain issues of the past, but unlike you and my ex, I’m dealing with them and not pretending you have nothing to do with them, or that your circumstances are as a result of other people or situations.

Oh, BTW, ‘whatever’ show I’m watching on TV it’s way much better than this ‘rerun’ between you and me that I should have cancelled many seasons ago. Click!



The second half of my workday was hectic. A project came in that kept me busy until at least 7:30 p.m. I had the day off the next day, so I had to finish it.

I got home exhausted, ate something and went to sleep earlier than usual. I really needed a rest and wished there had been someone at home to greet me, share dinner with and helped me feel better after the day I had.

These were the days I missed not having a boyfriend, but I didn’t miss this one in particular. He was, of course, very far off of what I wanted in a man, so much that I didn’t even thought about him all night.

I woke up rested and took care of errands, did laundry, cooked, etc. I know it was Friday, but I just needed to have a stress-free day, putting my attention away from the day I had before.

All was calm around 7 p.m. when I get a text from him that read, ‘come over so we can be together’. Again, nothing of a greeting, asking how I am or even if I ‘would like’ to spend some time with him. The feeling that I was now having was one when you have food on your mouth that tastes so bad you want to spit it out.

Two things came to mind: pet dog and call girl. And they have things in common. Both are sitting around for you to come home or contact you, and react immediately when the fingers get snapped at them, without thinking about it.

And that’s how it has been with him, and other guys, that have crossed my life, to which I had allowed to happen. Whenever I reach out to them, either they don’t respond or do so many days later.

But if they contact me, I respond rather quickly. I don’t think I’ve ever not replied to anyone. If I don’t, it would mean something big has happened to me or had a legitimate reason.

I got upset and felt like a second-class person. But this was nothing new. I’ve never felt good with him. So I asked myself why have I allowed myself to feel this way over and over for so long, when it’s clear his way of being is unhealthy for me?

I know he could be ‘someone that I know’ or label him in some other way like, ‘a guy I went to school with’. Because, honestly, having he as a friend is something that has never happened. He may have been at times a ‘sympathetic ear’, but ultimately he has been him and all about him.

I held my mobile and decided I would not reply. I put it down and walked away.

A short while later he text again, ‘No response?’ I smiled sarcastically; interesting how people react when you change your behavior or ignore them completely.

Knowing if I turned down his invitation would get me ‘the guy speech’, i.e., he will turn the situation around to make it look as I’m the unhappy person who prefers to be alone than have fun, I replied another way.

‘I’m just done with my hectic day and I’m going home,’ said I. It was short and to the point as he does.

‘That sucks,’ said he.

And that was it. No ‘I wished could make you feel better in some way’ or anything else. But why should I be surprised? I should be the one surprising him by snapping my fingers at him and say, ‘walk away.’

And I need to ‘snap out of this’ and instead of acting like the girl that everyone expects of me, show everyone the woman I have become. Snap!



{August 10, 2015}   Looking Back 46 – Taking note

Life can be contradictory. On one hand, you’re told that no matter what, things will always change, because that’s how the universe works.

But on the other hand, certain changes do happen because other people, circumstances or forces make it happen. It may be so this way, but the ultimate person to complete the process is oneself. And if you don’t, it will always linger like a bad cold you’re trying to shake off.

Case in point, the beach guy reappeared again as he always does in the most awkward moment or inconvenient time for me.

It was a Thursday afternoon and I was having lunch downstairs, outside the office which I don’t do often. I was eating a sandwich at a Deli looking at the news on a TV monitor when he text me.

‘What are you doing?’ asked he. Note: no greeting was first mentioned.

It was one of those busy days at work that doesn’t seem to end and was not in the mood at that moment for anything, other than taking my break and eating. ‘Lunch’ is all I replied.

‘I’m here at –‘ said he. He was located at a city at least one county away.

‘Really? What for?’ replied I. Note: he was coming down my way, but didn’t bother to tell me in advanced.

‘Work. How far am I from you?’

‘Don’t know; a little over an hour depending on traffic?’ He asked me for my address to check the distance, to which he replied after researching, ’50 minutes’.

I knew why he was asking me that. He was probably contemplating if there would be an opportunity to meet. But honestly, with the day I was having, at that instant I wasn’t interested in that at all.

‘How long are you here for?’ asked I.

‘Probably tomorrow night.’

I don’t recall what I replied next, but I completely ignored his hints. I just thought that if he had wanted to see me he should make it happen. I definitely wasn’t in the mood for anything, even less the effort of going to him.

Here’s the thing: I had recently text him if he was coming to my area any time soon and he just said, ‘I don’t know.’ Or if I text him asking him what plans he had for the weekend, he always replied that he was busy, or had his kids, or some other excuse that translated to ‘I’m not interested’.

This has been a situation that has repeated many times over, so why should I react to his local area visit? Spoiler alert: I’m treating you the way you treat me, i.e., I’m not interested.

We stopped the text because he was on a meeting and my break was done.

I could have continued, but I still had my second part of the work day and knew it wasn’t going to be smooth.

I sat back at my desk and kept on working. But his presence gave me a bad aftertaste. It took me back to high school when he was always busy studying and barely dedicated any time to me.

I was always the one looking for him and he would have that look that he had more important things to take care of.

I tried really hard not to think much about his behavior, but after a while it felt like huge rejections that became painful.

I didn’t deserve it, but back then I didn’t know when it was time to step back and walk away, to know when to read the signs that this wasn’t healthy for me, that as much effort and chances one gives to people or situations, some of them will just simply never be.

And that is one hard pill to swallow.



My friend was able to get himself together to enjoy our meals. I tried to take his mind away from his grandmother by talking about him and his job search. He was optimistic as always and confident that the right opportunity would come along.

And as usual, I avoided talking about my plans since I had none, because I had no idea what I was to do with myself.

My self-esteem then was one of being able to find and secure a job, but not enough talent to aspire a high level position.

My friend would try to encourage me by saying that once I graduated I was now a professional and that would set me apart from other people. That sounded very nice, but holding a diploma in my hand wasn’t going to change me immediately into a whole new person.

Still, I tried to hold those positive thoughts that even being confused about my future didn’t meant to lose faith of having a fulfilling life.

Before my friend left, we bought some boxed wine and sat close to sundown on a boardwalk next to a river and my residence.

I borrowed my roommate’s glasses and drinking that wine was the best I’ve had. It was one of those special moments I had with him, but this one was different from all others. There was a peacefulness and tranquility I hadn’t felt in a while.

I sort of looked at him more than that of a friend, maybe because I thought that’s what he wanted from me, but again nothing happened.

I’m sure that the people that walked by thought we were a couple. But that feeling of leaving things as they were became present once more. As the word literally implies, I was about to leave school and he in a day to who knows where.

It was as when leaving high school; there were paths that we both needed to travel again for ourselves before they could cross again, if that.

Sitting there with him was one of those moments you wished it could stay like that. His advice and protection had always leaded me the right way which didn’t want to lose.

It’s a feeling I’ve never forgotten that if it could have been bottled and preserved for the future, would have done it.

But as I would learn the hard way many years later, even if you kept things well taken care of in a box (like the wine), they all have an expiration date.

What I mean is that people change and with that their feelings. When you see inside that box, its contents have also changed. They age greatly to the point that it’s hard to believe those moments actually happened. And the worst part is that instead of bringing us joy, the pain is even greater than the good.

So what are we to do? What do we now make of the ‘then’?

I don’t know; maybe just closing the box and leave what’s inside as it is. Perhaps it’s getting a new one and filling it up with experiences we create ourselves, without leaning on others to make it happen.

Maybe that’s what it is: creating more boxes as we go along and storing them in our minds, only to be opened when really necessary.

Yep, if only life was that simple.



The last time I saw my friend during college was on my Senior year. I don’t recall how it all happened, but he came to visit me.

I think he was on the area for an interview or simply decided to know my life in school the same way I had done with him.

I couldn’t get to the airport, so he rented a car and found his way to my dorm.

It was great seeing him. He was wearing a jacket (a habit that would repeat many times over) and was very happy to have made it.

My residence was an apartment and one of my roommates had brought a sofa, so it became his bed. Funny enough, this piece of furniture would become another item that would serve me well.

The memories of those few days are sketchy, but I took him to dinner to an Italian restaurant I loved.

During dinner we got up to date again about the future and, as always, he had a plan. He was checking stocks on certain airlines and according to what he was seeing and learning about the companies, he would then decide on which one to apply to.

He knew he would probably have to move if an opportunity occurred, but he was fine with it. He knew he couldn’t be that choosy if he wanted to make anything good of his aspiring career.

While at dinner, he mentioned to me that his maternal grandmother wasn’t doing well. All of a sudden, he slouched down in the chair, looked sideways and got really emotional to the brink of almost crying.

I had the chance of meeting her. She meant a lot to him because, after his parents’ divorce and his mom going back to work, the grandma was the one who basically raised him.

I was shocked at how vulnerable he became, as I had never seen him like this. He had always been the strong one for both, the one that never let anything bring him down.

I sat there, frozen, not knowing what to do. I suddenly reached out and grabbed his hand across the table.

But, unfortunately, he remained as he was. He didn’t acknowledge what I did or said anything to my remark of, ‘she’ll be fine’.

It was as if I wasn’t there, as in someone else in his life had surpassed me in every aspect, even if I was just a friend in a total different relationship with him.

His hand felt cold and distant, his demeanor one that I had never seen of him and got me confused.

But I didn’t give it much thought back then other than to consoling him was the right thing to do.

It would be a few decades later when many traits of his would resurface again with another woman in his life that would greatly alter the friendship I thought we had.

And it would be pretty much as in this moment, distant, instant and cold. Instead of holding hands, he used it against me, and other, to create a block that no universal force could break apart.



I have a vague recollection of where the location of the palm reader was. The place was nothing to brag about. I felt totally awkward doing this, allowing a total stranger to talk to me about my apparent future.

My worries of the time were of any other person about to leave college: stay in the city you studied at, go home or try luck somewhere else?; what job should I go for?; will I make it?; how ill I manage to pay my loan?

Of course there was the concern about love. I hadn’t had that many relationships, other than that of my long distance one.

After turning 21 I was legally an adult and getting married was the natural progression in life.

But the thought of such a step scared me. I was a child of divorced parents, which greatly had an effect on me. My ex had also mentioned to me that he would have liked to marry me in the future, a proposal that I declined partly because my feelings has drastically changed and because I didn’t envision myself doing something of this magnitude in my early 20’s.

My friend talked to the female palm reader aside and asked her if he had a coupon I could use for my consultation of about $5 off, to which she replied, “she has the money.”

I went in by myself, placed my hand facing up on the table, and the reading started.

All that she said was very general and not that enlightening. At the same time my life was pretty bland, so what was there to see? Not much.

When it was time for ‘any questions?’, the only thing that came to mind was, “will I ever get married”, to which she replied, “yes”.

But that’s all she said, no physical description of the person, a year, or anything that could perhaps alert me if the moment had arrived.

“But if you pay me something extra I can tell give you his initials,” said she next. Oh boy!

I didn’t do it, of course, and left the meeting as blank as a book you can’t understand what you’re reading about.

I didn’t knew it then, but to get to a marriage, the commitment needs to start with myself, as in getting everything about me together, like two people would do, into a perfect one.

And that my friend, is one tough act to follow.



During this trip I did pretty much the same as during Spring Break, except that soon I was about to go into the real world and was as lost as ever.

I liked being there with him; I felt protected in his environment and that anything would be possible. I kept looking at this guy and envied how well balanced he seemed and confident that things would turn out the right way.

I always admired that he would give thought to his plans, analyze the options that he had or were available, decide and stick to that until he achieved it. He would do it all calmly and stress free.

I was the opposite. I was anticipating all the obstacles before they hadn’t even occurred. I didn’t know what I was to do next and was already questioning myself how and if I would make it.

He saw how confused I was and suggested taking me to a palm reader that he had visited before.

I was shocked by his revelation as I always felt he didn’t need any outside influences to do anything. He was practically the only one I knew that would turn things around when they were not headed the way they should have.

The other matter to consider was that we attended a catholic school and were taught to follow or trust faith. Anything that didn’t fall under the established parameters weren’t considered correct.

I don’t know how he felt back then about his religious beliefs, but we were both careful on what we believed and trusted.

We shared that our parents had divorced at a young age, meaning we hit reality early on and that as much as you believed in a supreme being or not, there were things beyond your reach that you couldn’t control, because they didn’t had to do with you, but could scar you for life.

That’s probably why I’ve always considered myself spiritual than religious. Or maybe it was that after 12 years of daily classes it overwhelmed me instead of embracing it.

Life as I knew it was one where people would come together for the best reasons to later distance (or separate) for good. It was the effect of wanting to be close to others, but not too much, because you knew one day they could abruptly walk out of your existence with no explanation.

And this is how I’ve dealt with guys all along. I want to be with someone, but always put a wall in between, keeping the necessary proximity, so in case they go, it won’t hurt that much (or so I say).

The only one that had never done that was this guy and I was confident he would never do. It would be decades later to learn how wrong I was, because to keep up the faith, sometimes not even a little prayer works.



The rest of my Spring Break went great. He took me everywhere, even to places that you had to drive some. But it was worth it.

Like my father would say to me many years later, ‘you never know what places you will have a chance to go to that you might not return, so take it as an adventure when you do.’ I loved all cities I visited and put it in my bucket list to return one day.

I did visit my friend one more time before he completed his studies. He really dedicated his efforts in his career; he was doing 1-2 summer sessions, and eventually some graduate courses.

I remember he telling me how some classes was done ‘in the field’ or outside the classroom with the airplanes. The summer heat and rain were memorable, so all students and classes had to start on time. By no later than 11am the weather would get very bad and everyone had to leave the area.

The second time I visited and he picked me up at the airport was as great as the first time, except I was older and almost out of school, meaning my uncertainties about the future were already looming over me.

“So, what do you want to do?” asked he when I got into the car.

“I want to buy a bathing suit. Take me to a good mall,” replied I.

My friend got surprised. He probably thought I wanted to have a drink or something. He took me to a great one and I walked in to the first bathing suit store I saw.

I was determined to buy a bikini, don’t know why because my weight wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to be. I don’t think I was that overweight, but as a woman it was an issue that always lingered.

In the store I found one with red, black and white colors. I walked outside the dressing room to show him and get his opinion. “What do you think?” asked I in a serious tone like, ‘tell me the truth.’

My friend’s eyes and mouth opened wide. I couldn’t decipher if it was good or bad. “Aaaah… I think it looks good on you…,” said he in a tone that made me believe he didn’t want me to feel bad about my body.

“Be honest with me. We’ve always been that to each other, even if we don’t want to hear it.”

“Truth is, I’ve never seen you before in a bathing suit.”

What? How is it possible to have been living in a Caribbean island and friends since our early teens, and never spent time under the sun?

“We’ve never been together at the beach?? Not even at the school’s Junior/Senior picnic?’ asked I.

“I didn’t go because of what happened during my Senior year. I wasn’t into being there.”

The more I tried to remember, the more I realized that of all things we did back home this wasn’t one of them. And during the Spring Break week, I was covering my top with a college t-shirt, so he didn’t get a full view of me.

Now thinking back on it, it was contradictory in a way that we had emotionally shared so much, and in the physical it only went as far as the kiss and sharing a bed. I even believed he saw me in my underwear, so why the reaction in the suit?

I would feel at ease at all moments with him because I trusted he would never hurt me. And even him being a guy (who tend to be more liberal), also kept his privacy (including the bathroom door closed) when I visited him.

I realized that as much ‘open’ I thought we had been, we have closely guarded the outer shell that we present to the world and each other.

So how do you then define what we have? I don’t know, but when it comes to people, for sure there’s more than meets the eye.



et cetera
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