Lap of Luxury

I’m down in Nuevo Vallarta with family, enjoying a much needed vacation and sun injection. Almost 10 years ago I got my passport for the sole reason of visiting my aunt and uncle at their new time share down here. Instead I met the late husband and never got to use my passport till after he died last year and I went down to Cayman. So it’s nice to know that, just under the wire, I was still able to use this almost expired passport to finally see the place I’ve heard about for a decade.

I’ve only been here a couple days so far but this resort is the epitome of luxury. The service is amazing, the decor tasteful, and the amenities impressive. We’re in a 4000 sq ft 3bed 4bath loft with a balcony as big as my apartment back home. I’ve never gotten to enjoy turn down service before and I’m finding new things to appreciate each day.

The minute you leave the resort, tho, it’s a whole different story. It’s much like those dystopian movies where the class differences are very evident. You’re either a have or a have not. When I took a taxi to the local grocery store to pick up supplies the driver waited in the lot for over 30 min, then loaded up my bags and even made a side stop at a store in a different city just so we could pick up a bottle of wine before taking us back to the resort. The entire trip was over an hour and only came to about $19 American dollars. When he got a 50 peso tip he was so pleased, but that’s less than $3 and it almost hurt my heart a little bit. If I had needed this service back home it would’ve easily been over $50 and no way the driver would’ve waited.

I understand why my aunt and uncle bought here, it’s amazing, but it really reminds me to be grateful for everything I have and all the experiences I’ve gotten to collect in my life. I hope there never comes a day where I would take the services and amenities here for granted.

Advertisements

Enough Already

These last couple weeks have been a whirlwind of stress and fun and more stress. Selling a house is stressful. Looking at apartments is stressful. New relationships are fun…but also stressful when you hit your first bump and have to figure out how to navigate differing opinions. Having your beautiful car damaged through no fault of your own is stressful, the police not getting you the info you need to file a claim, also stressful. Work being full of stressed out people is stressful. Having family obligations happening while you’re trying to do all these things is stressful. Actually packing things up, carrying boxes and furniture out to trucks and then driving said truck all over a busy metro, then unloading it again is very stressful. Getting everything up to a new apartment and finding out they hadn’t cleaned it before giving you the keys and the carpet is covered in pet hair and still smells strongly of dog pee…well that’s just the last straw. I’m trying really hard not to lose it but ffs, these stress levels are through the roof right now. Hope you’re all having a less stressful month.

A, Not OK

I feel sad, and hurt, angry, scared, numb, like I want to sleep, I want a hug, or maybe a drink. I want to rage and cry and none of that will solve anything.

This was the first real attempt, actions instead of just words. Still don’t know if you succeeded but at least I didn’t find you dead. It’ll be a long night and even if you’re mad about this I will defend my reaction. I’d rather lose a friend because I fought to save their life than to lose one to death.

I Win

I just survived the great fludemic of 2017. Many hours of PTO were surrendered to the dreaded virus,  as well as untold memories never made because I had to quarantine myself in my house and cancel all plans for the entire week. I don’t remember ever being sick for that many days in a row (5) before. I hope I never have to endure that again,  it was akin to a hell of sorts. I’m just happy I can think again,  and even though I know it’s not fully over yet I’m just happy to not be running a fever anymore. FLU SUCKS!

 

Realizations

I think I can count on one hand the times I’ve grabbed my “real” camera to go on any type of photo shoot since the police came to seize my laptop so they could check it for evidence of child porn over a year and a half ago. I never did get the laptop back, even after ex husband died and their case against him was a moot point, the police refused to give me my laptop back or even a copy of my extensive picture collection I’d edited and stored on it for years.  *disclaimer for anyone who doesn’t know the back story…I do not and never have looked at child porn,  it was my now deceased ex husband who’d bookmarked some sites that contained (among other things) images of child porn and I about died of horror the day I found out.

I’ve told myself a lot of excuses since that day on why I don’t feel like taking my camera out. Grief over the death of my dad,  plus miscarriages,  plus finding out husband bookmarked those porn sites,  plus the divorce,  plus the rest of my immediate family falling apart…the list was endless. What I never considered was the effect losing a huge chunk of my work meant to me. I didn’t stop to think about the connection of that loss being tied to pictures in of itself. I had so many pictures of my niece on that laptop,  of my friends kids from all the family photo shoots I did…frozen moments of time where they were being silly or happy. Did some police officer spend hours of time searching through my neatly organized folders just itching to find one that would prove I had any intention of exploiting an innocent child? That concept actually did cause me trauma. I felt like my entire body of work was somehow sullied just by association. I think that,  more than the rest,  is why I can’t bring myself to pick up my camera and try to capture an interesting or beautiful moment. I love(d) photography,  it was a creative outlet but now I just use my phone for everything because I’ve never associated cell pics with being “real” photography. I don’t even own a laptop anymore and I keep putting off getting one. I think I need to find a way to try and get over this. Yes I lost everything, but I can’t let it stop me from building up a new collection. It’s crazy the things we hide from ourselves because of negative emotions and fear.

Lies Are Easy, Truth Is Hard

As I drove home listening to the news I heard about snapchat being valued at 25 billion. Why, I wondered, would it be worth that much? Granted I haven’t used it in years but a friend told me about the new features and how people liked to subscribe to celebrities because presumably they can feel like they know famous people better. It got me thinking again.

Why do many people spend more time cultivating relationships with people over social media or the Internet and less time investing in real life interactions and relationships? Why limit yourself to acquaintance networks that never really scratch the surface of the people in them? Sure social media and acquaintance networks are easy because they require minimal effort to establish and maintain,  but they also offer little back in return and are the equivalent of fast food friendships. Where’s the substance? They aren’t built on a strong foundation and can fall apart much easier because there is such a paltry investment required of them. In relation to the people who follow or subscribe to celebrities,  the entire concept that you have any connection with them at all is basically an illusion. Of course fiction is much easier to create and maintain than real life.

I wonder if it’s this very proclivity towards illusionary,  low-effort relationships that contributed to an environment where someone like Donald Trump could become president. Sometimes I feel like we live in a world where it’s easier to believe the lies than it is to believe the truth. I’m not ok with that. I must belong to that camp of people that value quality over quantity. I value truth over lies even if the truth hurts. I want genuine relationships with the people in my life, I want to experience events for myself and make memories that mean something to me.

How did humanity get to this point? Alternative facts shouldn’t be a thing. Having to be highly skeptical of every single accusation that comes along because there were people willing to lie about events just to create more chaos in the world makes me want to cry and rage, which might have been the point. What message are we sending to the world,  to younger generations? Some things need to matter and effort must be exerted. Yes lies are easy and truth is hard but a world without substance isn’t sustainable.