Last night I brought in a small frog. She was so cute I wanted to keep her. But I don’t think I could take her back to Cali with me and all my luggage. I have two days left in Florida and with all my frustrations and all my complaining I am glad I was here for this long.
I was in Miami for a week. For a week my mami made me cafe con leche, made my lunch, made my dinner. Brought me water and Materva when I asked for it. For a week I was spoiled. There is part of me that wants to be taken care of and another that just wants to brush all of that away. But I know that when I am home alone I am the one who does my own laundry, I do my own dishes, I scrub my own floors. I prepare my spiritual baths and pray all alone. With my mami it is different.
I had a dream once. Really a nightmare. My gold bracelet that I haven’t taken off in years exploded. My body trembled. Something was happening inside. A dark skinned Cuban man with a plaid flannel type shirt talked to me and told me to pray. I prayed the Our Father, the only prayer I seem to have fully memorized. I didn’t know anything in Spanish. He told me, eres como una bruja prieta pero eres blanca. When I woke up and called my mami she laughed because she knows how I can’t stand when people call me white. He said, I am like a Black witch but I am white. And when I couldn’t pray in Spanish he told me to ask my mami to pray for me because she has a lot of power. She laughed at that as well because she never knew she was powerful. I asked my mami to pray for me everyday and even though she can irritate me I felt safe in her small studio.
We did not fight, mami and me. We almost did but I cut it off right before it happened. I told her that I know she raised me to be independent but sometimes I think I am way too independent. She said, I didn’t raise you, you raised yourself. And it’s true. I raised myself so it has been difficult for me to really be part of my family. It has taken me time away, time observing other families, time thinking that I actually want to create my own family, time in learning just to accept myself and others how they are. Now I feel like a member of my family. Not the black sheep. Not the one that left. I feel like me.
I drove back from Miami on Sunday and I thought I learned a lot about myself on this trip. I now know that I can’t spend too much time away from my home. Working and writing at the same time even if it kills me makes me more creative. If I have too much time on my hands I will devote it to looking at my friends pages on Facebook.
It would be nice to see my family more often but I don’t know if I could ever live in Florida because:
a) I have no friends here.
b)I could only live in Miami Beach
c)I told myself that the next time I move it will be with a partner (and I still don’t know what is going on with that)
d)people in Miami drive like maniacs and I spent half of my time cursing out people
But sometimes I think it would be nice. But then I remember that I have to wear a mask to visit my godmother. I have to put up with them meddling into my life. I have to tell them that they can’t call my La Talibana. Well only my godmother calls me that but that is frustrating.
I took my shahada and became Muslim while I was in NYC. It was expected and unexpected. It has been a struggle for me for awhile. When you come from a family like mine full of clairvoyants practicing rituals I didn’t know if I could be Muslim. And then I have to remind myself that it has made feel complete. I feel that my spirituality has come to a full circle. I have felt a pull from my ancestors. Here and there. Here and there. People have asked me how my family will react. And they have reacted the same way I thought they would. They were really happy for me. They know that my spirituality will grow even more now, that I will have a bigger understanding of people, that I can be more of service. I couldn’t of told them on the phone. I couldn’t of told them with me being here for a few days. My guard is down. I am more open.
It is my papi’s birthday today. Of course he is working. I will try to have the house clean for him. I have not lived with him since I was eleven. And even though he subjects himself to watching this show from Miami that is obsessed with Cuba because he wants to know what they are thinking, I will miss TV time with my dad. On commercial breaks we talk about politics and how the world can be a better place. He brings me fried plantains from the restaurant and lets me drive his car full of gas. My papi understands when I need quiet, when I need to get out of the house, he finally understands when not to give me a sermon and just listen.
In my apt in Oakland with new carpet and nice paint I will not have these family moments. But I will have the moments in my mind, in my heart. I have completed my mission here. I survived a month in Florida. Wow. Seriously I am about to cry because I didn’t know I could do it. My brothers and me get along fine. My nieces and I talk for hours together. I am able to be open. I am able to love and accept love. I am able to stop conflict before it happens. Ok, I still have to work on cursing out other drivers in Miami but at least I know I have to work on it.
In two days, insha’Allah I will be home. New adventures to come. Now I really know I can do anything.