kind of woman.

Sicker than your average, I walk around with my head high, kind of woman. Not because I’m full of it, full of shit, or think I’m better than the rest, but because I know who I am and I’m proud to be, a woman. Far from average, I handle business on a daily, kind of woman. On the grind, on a mission to provide, for everyone, kind of woman. Take one good look, because that’s all you’re going to get; no time to slow down for anything, woman.

If you want to waste my time, I’m not your woman.

I get mine and hope you’re getting yours too, kind of woman. No stuck up shit, I’m headed to the top and want to take you with me, woman. You want to know me, know my mind and soul, not just my scent or the way my hips move, kind of woman. I set my standards high because I know what I deserve, kind of woman. No doubt, I appreciate for what it is, but if it’s not meant to be, I keep things moving, kind of woman. I love love and love hard, so be prepared, kind of woman.

Beyond sexual, so intellectual, I want to enlighten, be your soul’s inspiration, kind of woman. I don’t take a thing for granted because I know nothing lasts forever, but I’ll forever be, a woman. Forever, your woman, if that was the case. I believe in the highest power who gave me my purpose, my power, as a woman. I do what I love and I love what I do, kind of woman. I don’t stress to impress anyone but myself; I am a perfectionist, yet imperfect altogether so appreciate it, kind of woman. I won’t trip if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world, woman.

Respect is given but can easily be lost, kind of woman. No drama resides here because I’m a positive kind of woman, a positive woman. It’s all in the laws of the universe, I can and will be where I need to be, kind of woman. So let’s keep it moving, women. I’m for change and for the better, kind of woman. I want to make a change because I know I can, kind of woman. So stand up because I know we can, women.

[thanks mars]

And I Quote.

Does she scare you a little?  Good.  She should make you fear her love, so that when she lets you be a part of it, you won’t take it lightly.  She should remind you of the power that beauty brings, that storms reside in her veins, and that she still wants you in the middle of it all.  Do not take this soul for granted, for she is fierce, and she can take you places that you never thought you could go; but she is still loving in the midst of it all, like the calm rain after a storm, she can bring life.  Learn her, and cherish her, respect her, and love her; for she is so much more than a pretty face, she is a soul on fire.

Lola Lessons

She came to this country when I was 3. I remember being picked up from my babysitter’s house one day, and in the car with my parents was this random old lady sitting in the back seat.  “Rachel, this is your grandma,” my dad said.  “I have a grandma?” was my response.  Then a timid “Hi.”

I stopped going to my babysitter’s house.  Instead my parents kept me home with Lola, because smart, and free, and family.   Our first few days were frustrating for the both of us — I only spoke English, she only spoke Tagalog and Ilocano. We taught each other words like

Chicken. Manok.

Water. Tubig.

Grandma. Lola.

Child. Anak.

Love. Mahal.

She made me all of my new favorite things like avocado with milk and sugar, adobong pusit, and kare kare   All the things I didn’t know I loved until I was asking for seconds.  She was magic.  During the day she would quietly and diligently do what she knew — laundry never sat in the hamper for more than a day.  It was also starched and ironed immediately.  The roses in the yard were somehow always in bloom and dinner was always hot and delicious.  Like I said…. Magic.

My brother came along and because of her, English was not his first language.  We went to the Philippines when he was 5 (I was 11) and he schooled me by speaking to all the adults in perfect Tagalog with all the hard 5 syllable adult words I had only heard in the movies my mom rented.  RUDE.

As I got older, I learned her recipes and her stories.  Her stories of working to the bone at a too young age, illiteracy, my Chinese and Filipino roots, running from the Japanese, World War II.  I learned about my ridiculously large family, how my fathers only brother has 13 kids and they were all waiting to talk to me.  Always.

As a young adult, on a day I was trippin over something trivial, she looked at me and said “Ne, you deserve more.”  I looked at her with crazy eyes.  Doesn’t she know this is what I want?!  Doesn’t she know this is important?!?!   She was right.  But it took me years to figure it out.

In my life’s darkest days, her words always rang loud and true.  Looking back, I have changed my whole life, more than once, with one thought– I deserve more.

My Lola was 105 when she left our worlds yesterday.  It sounds like a lot of time to be alive… But it doesn’t feel like enough time with my Lola. I want more avocado shakes and lumpias and sinigang.  I want more you.

I miss you too much already, Nay.  Mahal na mahal kita.

And I Quote

“When I loved someone more than I loved myself, I took it as a sign.  A sign that my emotions were telling me about a deeper issue at hand.  Don’t ignore that issue.  Never let your happiness rely on something that can be taken away.  That was my issue.  Today there’s nothing that can take away my happiness.  It survives through tragedy, death, or any loss.  Why?  Because I found what moves my soul, what excites my spirit and what drives my ambitions.  It took me 30 years, but I found it.  The search has to be never ending for the things that make you happy without the need to rely on others.  The love from others?  It should be a bonus to your fulfillment, not the reason for it.  Two things:  (1) If you’re in love  now, and all of your happiness relies on that love…then take the time to find out why.  Then what?  Make some changes that excite you on a non-romantic level and (2) if you are not in love with anyone including yourself, use this time wisely; you know those things that you get excited about but fear doing?  Do them.  You know that bucket list you haven’t made?  Make it, then do it.  You know that thing you are an expert on but haven’t made the plunge?  Dive in ASAP.”  —

I Never Wanted To Be Your Whole Life, Just Your Favorite Part

“I never wanted to be your whole life. Just your favorite part”.

The part of your Sunday morning right when you wake up. When you stretch, the sun kisses your face, you roll over, and see me. And think I’m just as beautiful as the night before when I got lipstick all over you.

The part when you come home from a long day of work, and dinner is waiting. The part where you lay your head in my lap, forget about the past eight hours, and everything just makes sense again. I want to be that sense of relief, knowing that you will always find sanctuary in my skin.

I want to be your go-to. Your mo’betta. The key that will lock all your insecurities.

The part where I walk into a room, and everyone is staring. Heels and head high, but still grounded. Everyone’s staring. Wondering, who I came with, who I’m meeting, who I’ll be leaving with. Then, I walk straight to you and everyone gets it. Especially us.

I want to be your inspiration. Motivation. Even the cause for a little perspiration. Hey, now.

The part where your mother grabs me to help her in the kitchen, your little brother wants to show me his new video game, and your best friend looks at the look on your face when you look at me and JUST KNOWS.

The part where your favorite team wins the World Series and you hug strangers nearby. When your favorite artist comes out with a new album after being on hiatus for five years and you can listen to it without skipping any tracks. That first sip of coffee, that good night kiss. The part of you that is vulnerable, and pure. The part of you you like the most, and the reason you are a better version of you.

See, I never wanted to be your whole life. Just your favorite part. The part you can’t live without.


Have you met my best friend Abi yet?  Allow me to re-introduce you to  Can someone please tell her to stop writing about me?  Thanks.  

Regular Old Happiness.

The other weekend, amidst a lazy morning on the couch with my boyfriend and college football, I asked him if he thought it was weird that our interaction with each other is so easy and effortless.   He looked at me like I was crazy, like “easy and effortless” were “normal.”

Oh wait.  It is.

If you’re anything like me and you’ve lived in chaos most of your life, or if you’ve had abuse or a lot of drama in past relationships, you’re probably going to be really uncomfortable with the sense of ease that comes from being in a healthy relationship with a nice guy.

I spent a lot of time among some emotional chaos, and I’m also a very active and analytical person.  I spent most of my life attracted to movement, change, noise, high emotionality, and people who needed me to fix them. Sound familiar?  But none of that was ever really good for me.  When I would land in a quiet stable situation,  l learned to kick up a little dust to make myself more comfortable.

I realize that’s what self sabotaging people do, but that’s what “normal” was for me.  Normal was walking on eggshells to not make him mad.  Normal was letting him do what he wanted, and not speaking up despite hurt feelings. Normal was dumbing myself down and playing down my strengths.  Normal was not calling him out on his lie, and worrying about who he was cheating on me with THIS time. Normal was being afraid.

You know what I just learned?  Normal is actually having your partner call you back when you ask him to.  It’s having someone actually listen to you, and respect you, and acknowledge your feelings. It’s communicating your intentions.  It’s realizing that if he wants to spend time with you, he will make the effort, and recognizing and appreciating when he does. Because he will.  Because that’s what normal people do.

Normal is being appreciated.

What. The. Fuck.

It’s going to feel weird.  In fact, It’s going to freak you the fuck out because normal-ness and happiness and trust and fulfillment are so foreign to you that you won’t know what to do with yourself.  You’re going to feel vulnerable in a brand new way and it’s going to be really scary. But it’s going to open you up, and it’s going to give you a point of view you didn’t even know you wanted to see.

Apparently, I’ve been doing “normal” wrong this whole damn time.  But I’m redefining the word with the help of a really great guy and regular old happiness.

About Me.

This is as honest as I can be.

My birthday says I’m a Sagittarius.  That’s a fire sign, and some have said that suits me perfectly.  I don’t quite know what that means.

I am 5’3″, I weigh 128 lbs, I don’t know how to swim, and I’m a sucker for a man with a nice smile and clean sneakers.

I’m still learning how to act in public.  I’m often loud in places I should be quiet, or tell the truth without concern of who’s within ear shot.  I’ve been told I’m not very friendly, but am a really good friend.  Go figure.

I like food.  A lot.  I eat my feelings – good or bad – and have to, have to, HAVE TO have dessert after dinner.   I once read I should be with someone that makes me feel like when my food comes out at a restaurant.  I’ve never looked at love the same since.

Most of the time I feel everything good in my life is deserved.  Sometimes–secretly–I’m afraid I’m not good enough.   Not for this family, not for this job, not for these friends or that man.  Not for this life.  I also get nervous when someone gets close enough to hear me breathe.

I don’t have much balance or coordination.  Except when I dance.  Somehow music works magic in my body and viola! I have rhythm and can stay upright.

My son is a mirror.  Loving him is showing me everything I need to work on like patience, forgiveness, and spontaneity.  Being his mother is also the most fulfilling role I have ever been in.  Ever.

I have trouble looking people in the eyes when I am feeling vulnerable. I often look at the walls when I’m spilling my heart out.  It’s less terrifying, like a night light in the dark.  It’s more like I’m talking to myself than another actual human being.

Speaking of, I talk to myself a lot.  I also have a staring problem which has sometimes caused problems.  Sometimes.

I fall in love a thousand times a day: with the sound of my son laughing, the smell of my dad cooking, strangers holding hands on the street.  With the music blasting from my phone, my brand new sweater, and quite possibly one more time…but good luck getting me to say that shit out loud.

I have an odd fascination with North Korea, plants that eat animals, slinkys, and generally things that don’t make much sense.  Probably why I’ve historically stayed too long in situations that just don’t make any sense.  Those last two sentences are proof that I only make sense of things when I say them out loud or write them down.

For the first time in my life I’m in a situation that feels…safe.  And it’s making me realize that I’m actually not afraid of heights or snakes or big bodies of water, but I am terrified of actually having what I’ve dreamed of and of being loved by a heart that matches mine because yo, I AM FUCKING INTENSE.

I just learned that about myself, too.   And you can’t tell right now, but my heart is breakdancing in my chest because I have been way too open for my own good but I will still share it because that’s what this blog is about.  My ears ring whenever shit like this happens… when the truth has the aggressive audacity to be…I don’t know…..


Imperfect. I’m Perfect.

“We have blemishes and we carry scars.  We are tarnished, tainted, and decorated with filth; but beneath the dust, the dirt, there lives always diamonds, and behind the cloudy night, lives always, a sea of endless stars.” — Christopher Poindexter 

When I was 13, I fainted at a carnival and fell on my face.  I landed on my chin and broke my jaw in 3 places, and my braces cut straight through my bottom lip.  I ended up needing 8 stitches and had my jaw wired shut for 6 weeks.   I was left with scars under my bottom lip that became more prominent when I smiled.  I had a scar under my chin that you could see when I looked up.

So I stopped smiling and started looking at the floor.  I began to hate looking at myself in the mirror and started wearing makeup to cover it up.

When I was 19, I fell in love — really fell in love — for the first time.  It was a maddening, confusing, suffocating, jealous type of love.  The kind of love that isn’t sustainable but consumes you so completely that you can’t plan because you can’t see past tomorrow.  But the day after tomorrow comes, and reality hits you in the face.  Love is love, but sometimes what love isn’t, is enough.

So I stopped loving and started giving myself to people who were emotionally unavailable.  I pretended like I didn’t need to be loved the way I love. I vowed to never love anyone like that again. I settled.

When I was 25, I became a mother.  My sons said introduced themselves in dramatic fashion. I felt the gamut of emotions in a single second and never ever EVER wanted to bury a child again. My C-section scar is still thick, and it tingles from time to time.  I often trace my fingers over the stretch marks left on my skin.

So I stopped wanting to have more children, and vowed to give all of my love to this miracle little boy.

When I turned 30, the man I loved broke my heart in a way I had never before experienced. I loved him so completely, and he simply… did not.  I was bruised and heartbroken. I was beyond my wit’s end and tired my heart’s capacity but still had so much love.  The kind of love with so much promise and so much disappointment.

But something else also happened at 30.  I became comfortable with myself.  For the first time ever, my skin felt good… like warm sheets out of the dryer and freshly shaved legs.  Like, a good stretch on a sunny Sunday morning, except I started feeling like that everyday.  “No,” became easier to say and “What do you want?” stopped being such a scary question.

I started walking down the street with a little extra pep in my step and swing in my hips.  I stood at five foot three, but I felt seven feet tall.  I thumbed all my imperfections — the scars on my chin, my stomach, my stretch marks, my wrinkles, my heart.  I examined them closely, and decided to love me anyway.

So I stopped putting myself down and stopped letting mirrors lie to me.  I stopped making excuses for other people and stopped building the walls I put around me. I stopped ignoring my own feelings and needs. I stopped crying.

I stopped…

And then I began.