Tragedy of the Commons

tragedy of the commons

“I’ve made up my mind to find out all about you minutely. But as I have no one from whom I can find out anything, you must tell me everything fully yourself. Well, what sort of man are you? Come, make haste—begin—tell me your whole history”- Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s White Nights

“This is it”- we begin to think. We have found someone whose common denominator matches yours; have it be a mutual love of music, a shared obsession over chocolate or hopefully something deeper like a similar past or the same vision for the future, we fall in love. The tragedy of the commons in love happens when we fall for the wrong person or we become infatuated with the incorrect someone depleting our chances of giving love a try later on in life when the latter does not work out. We say “fall” because it can be a liberating feeling of sorts and if it goes wrong, it can truly hurt once you take that fall and its reality with its emotions hit.

It happens to the “commons”, the ones who are usually willing to give someone else a chance, the ones that are romantics and not idealists, the ones who have truly loved and who have gotten hurt. The “commons” are the ones who open up their hearts and who are real. This week I realized I have not always been real or truly transparent except when it comes to loving someone. Sometimes I think to myself, why do I always wonder about love, its implications, complications and contradictions? It is simply because in previous years, the lack of love has shown me I was in the wrong place and with the wrong person, but in the present it has taught me to truly open up and trust someone else, and that is the least of the tragedies. So when you realize you are a “common” like me, I hope you have not depleted your chances at loving someone back or allowing someone to know who you really are. Love can be so intimidating, it is so private and personal, not to be taken lightly or for granted. The only tragedy once you both allow yourselves to fall in love is to be dishonest. So be real, love much and never give up.

Dunning-Kruger Effect

FullSizeRender

Definition: “A phenomenon where people with little knowledge or skill think they know more or have more skill than they do. This occurs while simultaneously overlooking and/or underestimating the knowledge and skills of those involved in the task at hand” [Urbandictionary.com]

For years and years I thought I knew how love felt, the emotion, adrenaline and commitment of it all. I thought and wrote about what I knew, which my naïve mind thought understood everything about relationships, all from premature feelings and lived adventures, when in reality, I knew nothing at all. I went through a “Dunning-Kruger” phase thinking I was ready to live with someone, never having done that in the past.

I had this dreamlike notion of what love would make me feel, of what love was to trigger inside of me and what I was certain to feel forevermore once I found it. Now, having lived with him for almost a year, I realize how much easier it is to be selfish and to only think for yourself and your well-being. Love can bring you to your happiest and darkest place and as our first anniversary of living together nears, I have begun to reflect on everything we’ve gone through.

The writings I have from previous years, even when I was non-committed or by myself still hold whole-hearted truth to what I felt in those moments, but none compare to the heightened emotions and genuine love I have for this human being that decided to share his entire life and heart with me. It has taken me months to realize that, as humans, we can be incredibly greedy and if not careful we sabotage our own relationships, all because we find it too hard to follow a one-way street or instead looking for a shortcut.

I have never felt more comfortable to share my life with him; he knows about my childhood, knows about the sadness I faced during my parents’ divorce years ago, knows that I am stubborn and if it was up to me I would be far away from here writing a book by the beach. Though my reality is far from a beach, I would not be going through it with anyone else. I chose him for his heart and for always being true to our love and us. And that is priceless beyond compare.

So I bite my tongue for all the times I said love is easy or not complicated- it will always be hard and complicated because we care, because we fight being selfish, because we love someone else more than we could ever imagine, because it’s not that we cannot live without each other, but rather we choose to go through this crazy life with someone else by our side.

I have always believed that we don’t choose how or whom we fall in love with, but we do choose whether or not to move forward or simply walk away from that love. Now that is the only choice we have in the matter, the rest is up to the love gods, the air, the universe or who you choose to believe in. Once you have made that choice, choose wisely, do not “Dunning-Kruger” it, know what you are going in for, do not pretend to know it all or to be a relationship expert. Be prepared to cry and laugh, to be honest and to accept that you do not have the answers and know that you are both in it for the long run, even if it takes failed attempts, disagreements and tears. The importance is not what you want to portray to the world as a couple, but rather the real emotions behind the love. He makes me laugh until I snort and he has seen me cry like never before and that is okay, I want him to know me at my best and at my worst. We know why we found each other and that is the most peaceful feeling you could ever have.

-CSV

DEEP WATERS

Image

When you are ready to dive into the uncharted salty waters of the ocean, you hope to have the right individual by your side.

I once heard that salt water fixes everything. Whether is the calming and at times ferocious salty waters of the ocean or your own salty tears streaming down your cheeks, both provides us with solutions and answers in our lives. The salty waters of the ocean give us a healing consciousness and the tears you’ve shed whether you are crying to heal or to celebrate are the universal sign that you care too much about something you were not aware of.

At times we find ourselves shedding tears to patch up wounds or open old ones because in that given moment, those salty tears were the only solution available, in order to move on, perhaps to forgive or simply to forget.

When someone else’s actions truly impact us and hurt us, we cannot help but dwell on it, relive it in our minds and when a solution is not given, we collapse. The ocean, although it can be predicted when a storm will hit, can be very unpredictable, much like our emotions; after all, we are human. The supernatural nature of the ocean presents a challenge to us, a place that gives us tranquility, but once a storm forms, we fall into turmoil, fear and at times what feels like death. These storms will pass, like they always do, and we have no control of what others may say or how others may behave; you are only responsible for your thoughts, actions and reactions to these showers, lightning, and floods.

I am a horrible swimmer. I, in order to swim somewhat properly, have to hold my nose with one hand while I attempt to swim with the opposite arm. When a storm hits my paradise and haven, I try hard to remain calm, swim to the best of my ability, struggle to make it through the current, but along the way I remind myself that it will all be over soon. Like the storms in the ocean, we face misunderstandings, catastrophes, arguments and disagreements, and when those moments present themselves, we must rely on each other to understand why we reached that point. We hope that the other person is an avid swimmer or a lifeguard in his or her past life, but we cannot and we must not leave it all on the other person; in order to receive the love and respect we want, we must also provide that same love and respect, it’s an equal partnership. You better hope that your significant other will be there to support you and provide his or her shoulder to cry on.

When those salty tears hit your lips, let them flow, breathe and let it out. Have the confidence that the person you love will wipe them away or cry along with you. Being vulnerable and seeing each other at your worst is the best way to get to know someone. The shore may be rocky or calm, but you will never truly get to know an individual for who they are until you venture into their deep waters. Then and only when that happens will you be certain if you can be with that person for what seems like a promising forever and in return if you decide to stay with that person through the storm, he or she will also know how worth it and how valuable you are to them.

The storms, figuratively speaking, can be the unfortunate outcome of outside influences, out of our control and from different perspectives. I know I have an avid swimmer by my side and I know that he appreciates me for trying to help him when he is in need, even though I need to wear a life jacket and hold my nose when I swim. The mere fact that I’ve tried and faced my fears of drowning shows my commitment to him, as it always should be when you are in love with someone.

So dive and swim, even if it’s hard or even if it hurts; storms will undeniably hit your waters, whether it’s a result of your or his and her mistakes or outside influences. I am no expert at swimming but trying it led me past the storm and to calm salty waters. The saltiness in my mouth from the ocean water tasted good once I knew the storm was gone; once I knew my avid swimmer was by my side.

I let him dry my salty tears when I am frustrated or hurt; he lets me toss him a life vest when he needs comfort or love.

-CSV

Thank You Past, I Owe You My Future

feet in cuba

 

In walking down the path that signifies our futures, we tend to once in a while step on stones and rocks that were there from our pasts, hurting our feet and becoming an obstacle when all we are trying to do is lead happy lives. We recognize that once or twice we took a shortcut or went down the wrong way, that single moment changing the course of our lives. What keeps me up at night? Decisions I have made in the past or that he has taken in years previous to me entering his life or where we’ll find ourselves in a year or two is what preoccupies my mind. When it comes to moving on and letting go of moments that hurt both of us, we tend to forget that those moments had to happen in order for us to end up together.

When writing our futures, we have this flawed idea that we can just rewind time and erase moments that led us to the present. We can no longer go back in time and take back words that resulted in actions that resulted in fights or arguments or perhaps a final ending to something that should have never had a beginning or initial spark. If I’m rambling on, it’s only because I’m trying to make a point: the past will not define who you are today, it can only reinforce some points as to why you are the way you are, but your past can only be responsible for you being a better person because you either let karma do its work or because karma was in your favor and paid you off for being taken advantage of or hurt.

When I stepped off the plane in Havana, there was a resonating presence of the past; the clocks had stopped ticking long ago and the two weeks I was there I spent reflecting on how I had ended up on that island and how had the past few years flown by so quickly. The past was a big factor in my Cuba adventure, seeing how people there live trapped in time, with the bare minimum to make it through their day and technology being the least of their worries. People there seemed to have settled for a lifestyle where they cannot advance, a life where the minimum is all they need and where their effort goes unnoticed or unmeasured. I encountered several women who perhaps have never or will never come across true love, the genuine essence of a flow of emotions that rush to your head telling you that you care for someone to an incredible degree, all because they have to prostitute themselves to make a bit of extra money on the side. As I have said before (alluding to one of my professors from a few years back): time does not pass, it only accumulates. In Cuba, the phenomenon of time just accumulating made me reflect on my life, where I currently stand and where I want to head. I do not have to settle for something that is beneath me or that is sedentary. I am smart enough to know that my past can accumulate all it wants but it will not define who I am or who I am with. If anything I owe my past my entire future, because it was years ago that I shook his hand for the first time and said “Oh, nice to meet you”.

I am fortunate to have an amazing man by my side who I have known for years but our pasts never fully intertwined until now. He and I often talk about why we did not happen sooner and both have agreed that we would have not appreciated what we have now until each of us on our own had to go through certain moments and situations to maturely understand what we could be together and the sudden love that developed. It is okay to understand where each of us came from or what we just got out of, that way we know the worst has passed and the best is yet to come.

So when the past decides to knock at our doors or ring our doorbells, let’s thank that all that happened because if any one of those moments had not occurred, we would not be next to the person we find ourselves walking, running or simply living life happily next to. So past, thank you.

 

-CSV

 

 

Instant Crush

foto para el blog- csv

And we will never be alone again – Julian Casablancas

If we are lucky and life deems us worthy of falling in love, we experience a rush of ecstasy and a slap of stupor when we first lay eyes on that one person that is to walk by our sides for the rest of our lives. An instant crush is a meeting of hearts entwined with a meeting of the minds. I don’t know much about science or chemistry but when I first met him my entire mind resonated with an echo saying: why can’t I be with him now? Life has a sense of humor and knows exactly when we are ready to receive and give the same love as it should be; never giving too much or receiving what we don’t deserve. I know when he first kissed me it was a long overdue moment, something that should have happened years ago but never got a chance to flourish or become more than a few flirtatious lines or exchanged glances. The beauty of it is that neither he nor I acted on it, remaining faithful to the people we were with at the time and realizing that timing was a factor against us and our lifelines would not have crossed.

Over a period of time a crush can gently mature into love but when the right and precise individual presents itself, the clock stops ticking and the timelines we have doodled and sketched for ourselves over the years mingle with someone else’s to become one. It is between the lines of gestures and whispered confessions that love comes to fruition, reminding our hearts that the time we spent waiting was well worth it, never wasted, just misplaced or misused.

An instant crush can swing both ways: our hearts crush after years have left cracks in our hearts finally shattering from abuse and misuse. An instant crush can also mean a moment in time when your unconditional love holds your hand for the first time and your fingers lock. You think in your mind : our hands fit so well  and then you think: I never want to let go of his hand. When someone fills a void in your heart, a black hole that has expanded over the years, it is incredibly comforting and at times scary that your heart now partly and eventually will belong to someone else. When that second arrives, do not hesitate, it is only human to be scared, at times that fear reminding you that love is fragile and should be handled with care.

When shaken, love fluctuates, testing you or the person you love, alerting your heart and mind that what has taken seconds, minutes, days or months to construct can easily tumble down. Do not let it get to that point; the foundation should be laid correctly as to avoid cracks. Always take the time to reminisce on that first instant crush that you shared, remembering that it was a genuine state of daze, where an epiphany told you that she or he was the one, and that now he or she had your heart.

Cassette Tape

photo(2)

“My plans? I can’t see any future after the day after tomorrow. The only real plan I ever had was to love you”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald (“The Bridal Party”).

 

Our pasts linger into our lives every once in a while, reminding us that we are worth much more than what many failed to express in the present. Undeniably we reminisce on our pasts; things that made us feel good no longer exist because better ones have finally arrived.

My past bumped into me like a reflection of myself at eighteen-years-old. Years ago I met a wonderful individual that decided to come back into my life, unexpectedly but certainly welcomed.

From time to time, we try hard to erase events from our pasts, leaving gaps of uncertainty, confusion and perhaps resentment. There is also a part of us that goes back to a safe place in our pasts, wanting to replicate those moments that brought us such bliss and love.

Life is a funny thing. We invest so much of our time, waiting or chasing a love that may never occur. I spent years wondering what was to come, dismissing that timing has a twisted sense of humor and knows exactly when to introduce us to the right individual that is ready to give and receive mutual love. Our lives move forward or rewind like a cassette tape. When I was a little girl I would spend hours next to my stereo waiting for my favorite song to play on the radio and I could record it. I would wait and wait and when that song played my day was made. Like a cassette tape I have the power to rewind my life and record over the mistakes or missed opportunities I have stumbled upon. I have no regrets and I remind myself that everything happens for a reason. We play the tapes of our pasts over and over until the sounds become blurred and it all becomes noise.

If I had ran into him months prior I cannot tell you that the outcome would have been the same. Neither he nor I was ready until now. He is becoming the music I long to play at the end of a hard day and the melody I want to hear as soon as my alarm clock goes off in the morning.

Undeniably we cannot record over the past, that is just wishful thinking, but we can record a new present that will lead to a wonderful future. All you have to do is not go over side A and continue recording on side B.

 

-CSV

Copiloto

20130510-011753.jpg

Tan solo porque te extrañe a mi lado hace un par de días, se me ocurrio escribirte esto…

Me he dado cuenta que lo amo

Me he dado cuenta que amo a alguien que vive en otro continente, lejos de mi realidad y yo lejos de su vida

Lejos de una vida donde quizás nunca perteneceré y donde no quepo

La idea de amarlo me parece absurda, ya que no ha estado a mi lado por unos cuantos años y dudo verlo en algún horizonte cercano

Anhelo el día en que me tome de la mano, yo conduciendo hacia la playa donde se encuentra nuestra casa, donde pasamos las tardes leyendo y tomando un vinito tinto

Nunca nos cansamos de conversar, de escuchar nuestras voces, y si hay silencio, es bien recibido, ya que nos deshacemos de la bulla y nos embriagamos a besos

¡Olvídalo! Eso de anhelar no es suficiente, me muero por tan solo estar al frente de él, y abrazarlo si eso es lo único que me quisiera dar

Quiero que sea mi copiloto en todas las aventuras que se me pasen por la cabeza y haga realidad, manejando a otros países, terrenos desconocidos, escribiendo del amor que siempre hemos sentido

Quiero que camine a mi lado hasta que algún día me diga:

“oye vieja, ¿te acuerdas cuando éramos jóvenes?”

Así mismo y con el énfasis de un amor reencontrado, quiero que nunca deje de ser el amor de mi vida

Cuando llegue el día que nos reencontramos, quiero que no desperdiciemos un segundo más aparte, que me bese con la pasión que hemos construido estos últimos años

Así, pasaríamos el resto de nuestras vidas agobiando la vida cotidiana, pero de esa manera menos pesada ya que lo tengo a el a mi lado

En fin, lo amo,

CSV

LEAP

IMAG0743

Nothing in this life happens by coincidence; our lives are premeditated and predetermined as soon as we take that first breath.

No leap of faith goes unnoticed either and this past leap of faith that I so explicitly took has led me to believe that you came to me in that dream for a specific purpose; if only I knew the reason why I need to keep you around.

As humans we can be overly impatient and want results immediately, whether we are waiting for that kiss that will give us the answer we have longed for weeks, or a job offer that will allow us to keep writing our futures; we seek control and when we don’t have it, we lose it.

We always want to anticipate our futures, own a crystal ball to tell us what will become of us, yet knowing it all at times is not what we ultimately desired. I may not want to know how I ended up at that place or why with that individual, but I want to arrive at that moment and think:

<All those years that I searched and traveled in the limbo of confusion and frustration were all worth it because I ended up in front of you, just me and my baggage, so you could help me carry it all>

I am analytical and when it comes to love, my weaknesses are all too evident; I am a hopeless romantic who tries to be realistic but have been all too spoiled with reading magical realism so I make a dream of any situation. The only problem is that the advice I give my friends works on them and not me. I remind myself that we are all different and when it comes to relationships, bonds, acquaintances, friendships, or a transient sort of love, our realities and expectations can become blurred. I am an open book so I expect him to be the same way, not knowing where he is coming from or what has shaped him to be this interesting individual who I’m drawn to.

The dream that you so conveniently appeared in seemed like a premonition, a moment in time that we are to share and this one seemed all too real. I took this giant leap of faith and looked for you, not realizing that the feelings may never be reciprocated, not knowing that you might already have your life planned out where I may not fit or ever become a part of.

As I was putting my nephew to sleep this past Saturday I thought of his tiny mind, processing all the sounds and images he makes out. I realized that at this early stage he can barely see who is in front of him; he only smiles when he recognizes a familiar voice or something that brings warmth and serenity to him.  I wanted to be him for a second and start fresh, and appreciate someone not by what they look like but what they contribute in my life; I want someone who genuinely cares for me, where I’m headed if I am headed to the same place where he is. I want him to hold my hand and tell me to go with him, wherever that may be.

 No leap of faith goes unnoticed, whether the outcome is what you expected or not, the results will either reinforce your path or teach you where you should be headed. So leap, take as many chances, for those experiences are what shape your identity and how far you are willing to go to know your true self. Speak the truth of who you are and all that you have to offer; love is but a breath away when you are only yourself.