I was going to write something nice today

As I woke up at 7 am today, I started rushing because I have to give a good mom impression to my neighbor: She runs a private pre-school/daycare and she let me enroll my son in the final days of April without money in advance or any other requisite. She knows I need to work. I bought some diapers, baby food, the school’s uniform and he was good to go to daycare.

The day went by pretty hectic. At 8 am I delivered an article to a Spanish website. A friend helps me with content in Spanish while I handle everything in English. I start writing about upholstered bedding and then research a job that is intimidating me but I’ll face anyway. Yesterday, a reporter from Buzzfeed spoke to me a little about my situation and the recent Generosity campaign I started and she was going to publish it today. It wasn’t what I expected but I raised some money thanks to that so I won’t complain. I thought maybe writing another blog post would be a good idea.

Yes, it still is a good idea but Venezuela won’t let me have any of those.

Twitter was a mess. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of my work and the situation here got pretty tense very quickly. All I could see in the news was reports of the Caracas’ subway stations closing, talk shows that went on how to deal with this country’s situation if it is affecting your health and so.

At noon, a Dutch reporter contacted me to request an interview about my Generosity campaign too. I thought that was going to be ignored but it seems like a lot of people had the same thoughts I did and we became a curious topic to be talked about in the news.

After that everything started to crumble.

When I hung up my interview, I saw the report of the young student Juan Pablo Pernalete, who was only 20 years old, shot dead with tear gas in the chest.

This death, like many other ones during these protests, hurts deeply because of the vulnerability of the victim. Juan Pablo could have been my student, he was somebody’s student, son, friend. All those people would have to cry him while his death is being tainted with politics and no justice is made.

I had to finish my work anyways. The Spaniards, the Brits and my new Dominican client can’t wait for me, and neither do my family’s needs. No matter how bad you feel after a day of political tension, life goes on and the ones who survive have to lead the battle.

I was going to write something nice but I got tired of living in Venezuela

As I was putting my baby to sleep and thinking about what I was going to write, the power went off and with it went my motivation. As always, trying to survive here sucked the life out of me. I made my baby laugh, I made dinner for my family, I was able to help friends but still, my soul has a hole that can’t be filled at this time. Only rest would cool things off for tomorrow.

We all hope this situation has a happy ending but not many Venezuelans would carry that thought all the way to the end.

I started a Generosity campaign to be able to save money and get out of here. No matter how much I love the region I was born in, it sucks the life out of anyone who cares.

We want peace. We want a future. We need hope. We will keep fighting.

Freelancing but not so much

Hello, I’m Eligreg and I’m a freelance writer. That’s why I say “writer” in my descriptions. I’m not the next Virginia Woolf, I just write copy and web content as a ghostwriter and it pays my bills. It’s easier for me to say that so potential employers can hire me.

Lately things have looked good for me in the freelance field. I was able to complete some work in these two months I’ve been doing that but… now not so much.

Through the help of friends and family, we’ve been able to abandon our careers as ESL teachers and earn quite a lot more by writing copy. 10$ here, 10$ there and we’ve been able to survive these two months by working in what I was almost trained to do.

Elias was born on March 7th, 2016. Now he’s 13 months old, soon to be 14 m/o. He’s in his peak walking age. He grabs anything he can get a hold on and runs as there is no tomorrow. The cats are scared of him and my mother cries every time he runs because “it looks like he’s going to fall over!”, she says. My baby looks at another kids with marvel and wonder. He’s in that age. We have to put him in daycare. We take turns but he still wants mommy and daddy together. If we don’t go out to work, then the baby must go out and have fun. All grandparents are busy/old and that’s not even an option. We need to solve this situation.

I just made a fundraising page. I don’t ask for much, just a start to make my own money writing.

You can check – share – help my fundraiser here

We would love to make our own money but we do need help getting there. We thought it was going to be easy but no. It is not. We need to save money. We must leave the chaos Venezuela has turned out to be in the last 4 years. We need to shake the mess off ourselves for the good of our son.

If you need any copy or content, contact us through this blog and we’ll make it happen for you!

Today the ground hurts

Today the ground I’m standing in hurts. It hurts to walk, to see my child run freely around the house, to put food in my mouth, to take a pill for this non-stop headache. Today it hurts to be Venezuelan.

As I’m writing this, families are crying their dead. Three accounted deaths were the toll on today’s protest and the Opposition leaders are calling for another protest tomorrow. We don’t want this government, with lower case letters, we despise anything that has to do with its corruption, greed, and hate. The violence we live now has no boundaries and we are tired of it, we want peace. But not their peace, as they call submission; we want true, mind-freeing peace.

We’re being held hostage by people whose interests just rely on money. They have sold the idea of “Socialism” among the resentful, who wish they had a part on the country’s wealth with no effort. Those resented buy the loving words of an ideology that had long proved to be a failure. And most people know that by now but pride is a blindfold that as Venezuelans we can only associate with money, with gifts from the government to say the least. Every single policy they call socialist has left a deep wound in our country’s development. Just see our foreign currency exchange control policies and you find the source of everything that has been wrong with our country.

We’re held at gunpoint. There is no turning back. Every time we see a motorcycle life goes by in front of our eyes. Some had the luck of running away but the ones left here are at the mercy of violence, their power-fed violence. Paola, 23 and Carlos, 17. They were today’s toll, today’s youth being shot and dragged through the ground just because they want something else for their future.

 

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Paola was just protesting for a better future and was killed because of it

 

Venezuela hurts. It did before as it does today and will tomorrow.

We don’t know where else to run, to scream, to call. We need help because we’re kidnapped in our own country and everybody listens but we could be murdered if they do something. Just like an old regular kidnapping.

Tomorrow is another day and I know we will see the light. We just have to keep shouting in case somebody powerful enough listens. We’re worthy of change, we’ve been calling for it a long time ago.

We’re here and it hurts but we’ll keep shouting.

Planet Terror: Nuestra Vida Hoy en Venezuela

Hay ciertas cosas en mi vida de las que nunca podré escapar y utilizo esta última palabra con el significado de fuga. Salir corriendo de algunas situaciones en la vida es algo que muchos quisiéramos hacer pero condiciones como ser venezolana no es una de las que nos permitamos huir. Así me mude al norte de China donde tenga otras preocupaciones territoriales y la religión consuma mi vida, mi mente siempre se ocupará con el pensamiento de Venezuela. Si algo saqué de provecho en la era del chavismo fue la disección histórica del momento actual como un hábito y las implicaciones que cada acontecimiento conlleva, en tiempo real. Dudo que de otra manera yo me hubiese preocupado por tales cuestiones.

Lo que no me atreveré nunca a poner en duda es las consecuencias que trae la crisis a nuestras vidas. Desde aprender a rendir la comida hasta encontrar nuevas formas de explotar el potencial profesional y las oportunidades que se nos presentan. Muchos venezolanos aprovechan esas oportunidades fuera de Venezuela y otros, como yo, aprendemos a hacerlo con y a pesar de las limitaciones que significan vivir aquí en el país del terror. Por ejemplo, este blog es el comienzo de una oportunidad de crecimiento profesional (aunque todavía en construcción) y desde aquí expreso mi preocupación por la situación de hoy,19 de abril del 2017.

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Imagen sacada de twitter

Muchas marchas han pasado, muchas oportunidades de expresar el descontento con represión incluida, muchas veces en las que he desgastado mis uñas sin resultado y ninguna de esas veces ha sido distinto: las protestas siempre generan angustia, siempre se quiere que el resultado sea otro, como partidaria de la oposición, al menos. Todos los que adversamos las políticas del chavismo quisiéramos, por la partida chiquita, que Maduro renunciara y se fuesen todos sus simpatizantes a otro planeta si fuese posible. Un planeta como el de Robert Rodríguez donde existe toda la violencia que ellos disfrutan vivir a diario y hasta tendrían una prostituta con un arma por pierna, aunque creo que Rose McGowan sería mucha mujer para los chavistas así que la alegoría no quedaría bien hecha.

Ese planeta al que el chavismo tiene sometida Venezuela es el mismo en el que me encuentro encerrada. Si mis amigos en el exterior no pueden hacer por la marcha en Venezuela sino acompañar en espíritu desde otras latitudes haciendo otras marchas, algunos de los que quedamos aquí, viéndonos en una circunstancia particular, nos sentimos impotentes al no podernos hacer sentir caminando. Las amas de casa que no pueden abandonar su hogar ni sus hijos, los que están forzados a trabajar por la crisis y, como es mi caso particular, los que nos encargamos de criar a la generación de venezolanos que verá este oscuro episodio de la historia del país como un bache en el pasado del que hay que aprender. Quizás suene como disculpas y quizás sí lo sea. No hay nada que me frustre más que no unirme a las exigencias de las que me siento parte, a las exigencias de las cosas que yo también sufro ausencia, al grito de quienes sufren conmigo.

Hasta el más desentendido de la política lleva su cuota de angustia cada vez que se convoca una movilización. Es muy difícil sufrir los embates de la crisis y no querer decir nada pero aún así hay gente que se las arregla. Por esas personas, hay muchas voces que quieren hablar en estos momentos, personas que se están preparando para expresar su opinión, palabras que se hacen sentir al menos en un par de mentes y eso es lo que procuro con estas líneas. Si las protestas no van a hacer nada, que más personas se enteren de lo que nos aqueja, de lo que nos hace llevarnos las manos a la cabeza todos los días pensando qué vamos a hacer.

Elías, mi hijo, tiene un año y un poquito más, no habla pero lo entiende todo, corre todo el día y come como un niño de 10 años. Elías tiene dos dedos de leche en polvo y, a Dios gracias, unos padres que se las inventaron para que al fin la familia no se estancara en la mengua, además de familiares y amigos que lo han querido hasta su bienestar, lo que no es el caso de muchos niños en el país y por eso y muchas otras razones es necesario que todas las voces posibles sean escuchadas y leídas por todas las mentes posibles, que nuestro mensaje atraviese las fronteras. Ese es el objetivo de la marcha, a mi parecer, y en mi imposibilidad de acompañar con mis piernas, acompañaré con mis ideas la causa venezolana que no es otra que la dignidad.

Sepámonos dignos, esa es nuestra exigencia. Gritemos nuestro descontento por ser humillados todos los días, que nuestros coterráneos también merecen dignidad y aquellos que buscan arrebatarnos nuestra humanidad sean desterrados a su planeta del terror y la violencia. Aquí no vamos a comer flores pero el que se quiera comer las isoras de mi jardín que me avise y yo se las doy.

Como siempre dicen las mamás y yo, haciendo honor a mi más reciente título, lo diré como un consejo conclusivo: Mijos, no se dejen joder. Hagan lo que sea por no dejarse joder.

Carta de cumpleaños a mi hijo Elías Alejandro

Feliz cumpleaños al mejor hijo que hizo una mejor madre.

Tenían razón y lo grito a los vientos. No es posible que se ame a algún ser en la vida más que a un hijo. El día que naciste fue un tumulto de emociones tan grande que ya no sentía nada, sólo tu presencia, tus manos chiquiticas, tu respiración, tu piel frágil cerquita de mi. Tu llanto sólo pedía mi presencia y mi corazón se ponía chiquitico al dártela.

Mi chiquitico.

Se me irá la vida dando gracias por darme la hermosa tarea de ser madre de un niño tan activo, tan inteligente, tan hermoso como tú y me faltará vida para poder cuidarte, enseñarte y verte aprender de la vida como lo hemos hecho durante todo este último año.

Antes era yo, era mi cuarto, mi cama, mis aprendizajes, mi comida, mis pensamientos. Ahora todo lo que existe primero en mi vida, eres tú, hijo. Gracias por enseñarme el valor de la vida, aunque no seas maestro. Gracias por inculcarme el valor del ahorro, aunque seas muy pequeño para ser economista. Gracias por escucharme cantar, aunque nunca haya grabado ni una canción.  Gracias por enseñarme a cuidar de mí misma para poderte cuidar a ti, aunque no seas coach motivacional. Un niñito tan pequeño que se volvió tan grandote de la noche a la mañana vino a nuestras vidas para ser tantas cosas sin querer.

Espero que en tu futuro seas todas las cosas que quieras ser, hagas todo lo que quieras hacer, ayudes todo lo que quieras ayudar, ames todo lo que quieras amar y que el mundo te resulte un espacio chiquitico para todo lo que tengas que ofrecer. Eres un ser grande y en mi corazón no cabes, por eso somos tantos lo que te amamos.

Espero que estas palabras queden grabadas en la nube del internet que quizás en tus tiempos se vuelva obsoleto porque quizás hayan encontrado una nueva forma de comunicación. Espero que queden grabadas en algún sitio para que no se pierdan, para que no se las lleve el tiempo y cuando logres entender puedas revisar lo que tu madre siempre guardó para ti, un único e infinito amor que no podrá ser contenido ni en todos los terabytes de capacidad del mundo.

Feliz cumpleaños, mi corazón afuera. Feliz primera vuelta al sol. Que se repitan muchas más.

Te amo,
tu mamá.

Introspection 1

I have the tendency to make every blog I open an up close window to my private life. That’s how it feels to be in front of this screen with everyone around you minding their business. Starting this blog with the word I accentuates that fact.

I don’t know how people convey their ideas to large masses without seeing not even one of their faces. Every time I’ve prepared to say something to a large number of people I need at least a month in advance and online interactions don’t seem to stick big for me, at least for now. I think if I ever wrote a novel it would have a lot of Virginia Woolf and her kind of introspection. Gloomy, of course, without losing the ethereal beauty that surrounds me. A Room of One’s Own was a definitive read for me during my school years and, to be honest, I don’t know where I’d be without it.

Maybe I’m not writing anything important or anything specific but the purpose of this blog is precisely that: To give me the personal freedom to say anything I want. Sometimes introverted people like me find it hard to talk to someone, between al life occupations and preoccupations it is an impossible task and most of those times I find myself into wuthering lows, just to quote the book I just read (yes, I have *just* read Wuthering Heights, thanks to a friend who had a copy that she lent me years ago but after watching Crimson Peak by Guillermo del Toro my mind just went through a gothic romance phase and Wuthering Heights was in the middle of it and I wouldn’t have it any other way)

People say I should stop being so gloomy, that will only lead to more sadness in my life but there’s one thing people don’t seem to realize: Some “gloomy” people aren’t just sad. A lot of us do enjoy cloudy, rainy days that gives us a break from the scorching sun and the overwhelming happy-go-lucky attitude some people have. That last thing drains me as much as a sad pessimistic person.

I wouldn’t want my blog to not be gloomy. I am not a permanently sad person either, I can catch a case of the sadness just like anybody else. I just prefer silence, quiet, thought, music that touches my soul more than my hips or feet and a sight that will last a lifetime inside my mind like I still remember the curtain patterns that my mother hung in the living room of the apartment we lived in when I was a child.

Maybe yes, this blog is too intimate but so am I. If I decide to open a window, you will see inside, it’s only logical. I mostly keep it closed but that’s the beauty of a blog, of the internet: I can open an invisible window and let you see exactly what I want, no more.

This window has been opened.