For the last year, living in Arizona has been quite the change.
I was a die hard, hardcore, never leaving NYC kind of girl, but after 2009, everything I built up in my life, went on a downhill spiral. The relationship I was in for the last year, I chose to and but it broke my heart in a million pieces in making that decision.
After that break up, I dedicated my time to new ideas, believing in my entrepreneur spirit...but every idea, every little thing I pursued, went nowhere. Sure, I had little tidbits of success here and there but not everything I wanted to succeed worked.
Then from 2013 to 2016, everything became progressively worse, when I allowed my sister and her two children to live with me. Thinking consolidation was the goal to buy a house, I learned a hard lesson in believing family members will help you. It turned out to be the complete opposite from what I imagined (other than living a wake-state nightmare), having lived alone for the last 12 years of my life, it wasn’t a choice I wanted to make as I’m sure my sister wouldn’t have made the same choice either. But, as with anyone, had she made different choices for her life, maybe she wouldn’t have been in the predicament she put herself in.
When she finally did leave, my apartment was certainly not in the condition it was in before she arrived. And while I scrubbed her dogs piss residue from my hardwood floors (which were ruined), inside I was making every effort to erase the mistakes I made that had me in the position I was in, you know those thoughts, “maybe if I did this and maybe if I didn’t do that…”
No matter how much I cleaned, what I felt inside was the one thing that wouldn’t cleanse away.
Depression hit me harder than I realized. My weight gain went far beyond what I was originally in 1999 when I lost 55 pounds and I was down to a size 4. The scale dictated my mood. The clothes in my closet were a painful reminder of how “fun” life was being skinny. The comments of “I like thick girls” didn’t help either. Doctor visits were a painful reminder that the weight gain wasn’t a good thing and was going to lead to serious health issues I didn’t want.
I would look in the mirror and wonder, “where did I go…what happened to me?”
Where was the Marabelle Blue I knew and loved?
I didn’t want to talk about these things on a social platform, due to the deep shame I felt inside. I wanted everyone to believe I was fine and I wasn’t.
Yes, even ideas of killing myself were present at that time.
After receiving this offer to move and reviewing my New York existence, I asked myself what did living in New York mean to me now while still left wondering if moving to Arizona was the right choice? Did I give myself enough time to recover and maybe give it one more go, maybe one more year would change things and I wouldn’t have to leave New York after all.
It wasn’t a secret I wanted to leave New York. As much as I loved the convenience, there was too much negativity going on for me to endure. It became too expensive. The over crowdedness on the train, the type of people moving in to my neighborhood, not to mention the cold weather was not helping my breathing at all.
I knew I was going to miss everyone and everything I loved, at the same time, I had an excitement to be somewhere new and I was able to to start over.
I am not a goodbye person at all. I get very emotional, almost to the point where I make myself sick so needless to say, my packing skills (as my mom reminds me LOL), were equivalent to a wrapping a gift in a messy fashion.
On December 8, as my best friend, Veronica and her sister in law drove the long 2600-mile drive; it gave me a chance to reflect on my life. With each state, the realization came in full force, I was getting farther and farther away from home and there was no turning back. I looked into my dogs eyes as they I’m sure they were wondering, “Mommy where the fuck are you taking us?”, it was that reflection staring back at me, the uncertain future lied ahead.
There were so many reasons I needed to leave, yet, there were so many reasons I wanted to stay.
One of my books I completed, “Before You Say I Do”, but in the process of serious rewrites (not published yet but soon), I learned a term watching some show on television called “The Escalation of Commitment”, coined by Barry M. Staw who wrote “Knee Deep in the Big Muddy”. The basic research was how people commit to something believing it will change.
Finance was shown as a good example of the escalation of commitment.
Let’s take a person who’s playing poker for the first time. He or she wins a big hand, the kind of money they’ve never seen before. Thinking of the taxes they will have to pay towards that sort amount of cash, they make another play and win, just for the sake to take that part of the money for taxes, at least that’s what they like to believe.
You know that luck….that kind of luck one thinks will stay with them and suddenly the $20,000 won is now gone. Of course what comes after that. Regret, shame, wonders why…? Right?
Now, let’s take the same concept with relationships. When we initially engage in a relationship, what are the core commonalities, which bring you closer to that person? Usually the first is the physical attraction. Second would be the charm the person exudes (maybe not for all but for most) and then the romance enters and before you know it, you’re in love and begin playing house.
Then is when then ugly face of relationships seer in – those warning signs that tell you this is not what you want, but for the sake of time you’ve invested, you stay in it.
The longer you stay, you believe whatever is wrong with the relationship, ‘it’ will change or they will change, because after all this wasn’t the person you fell in love with. Or was it?
You just chose not to pay attention because the idea of romance surpassed the real life thoughts of, “is this the person I want to spend the rest of my life with?”
If you’re paying attention to the world today, this is what everyone does.
No one thinks through his or her choices or decisions. It’s all about that instant gratification and deal with the consequences later, until that is, when it’s too late and you’re stuck.
This is exactly what was happening to me. The longer I stayed living in New York, was more I psyched myself to believe, “things will change, things will get better.” Meanwhile I couldn’t afford my apartment anymore. The selfish part of me wanted to stay there since I lived there for the past eight years, “why should I be the one to leave”.
The bigger part of me was extremely unhappy. I couldn’t look to my parents to bail me out helping me with rent, that wasn’t fair to them.
When the opportunity kicked my door down, there was no turning back.
I didn’t tell anyone where I was moving, because quite honestly it was no one’s business. On top of that, I didn’t care to hear the opinions of ‘assinide’ people who think they know what’s best for you. But believe me they did come out of the woodwork when I arrived here.
I think of the more ignorant comments I got about how racist this state is, meanwhile this is a state where I have seen the most interracial relationships compare to New York. I have yet (just in case), to experience any discrimination being a Latina woman in this state. Neighbors pretty much mind their business and not knocking on your door wanting to be your best bud.
What was most important to me was having a peace of mind.
Through the first six months of my days here, I spent writing An Illegal Affair. I told someone back in New York, I believed when I finished this book or maybe all three, at some point the man I was meant to be with will appear. Literally, I met him the night I finished my book.
That love thing everyone talks about, it’s real. I didn’t think it was, but yes I can attest, this coming from the woman who’s been single since I started this magazine (17 years…a long time!).
Six months into our relationship, we became engaged.
I never thought I could love anyone like this. Sounds cliché but true.
Depression and weight gain didn’t disappear just because I moved or fell in love or finished my book, etc. I still struggle. I’m far from perfect. And let me clarify, anyone who’s depressed, doesn’t necessarily gain weight. In my situation, I did. Remember, everyone is different.
Now, when I look in the mirror, there’s that glimmer of hope. The Marabelle Blue I see may not be the thin woman staring back at me, however, there’s the inspiration to make things happen and all hope isn’t lost.
I think I can safely say, 2017 wasn’t all that bad. :-)
There’s still a lot of work to be done.
As we say in our 12 step fellowship, “The Joy is in the Journey”.
To all my writers, associates, family, supporters may you all have the best new year to come!
Never give up peeps. Never ever give up.
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