A Good Ass-Kicking

Last Friday, I woke up with inexplicable extreme pain all over my body. I shriveled up like a dead bug trying to escape the body-wide-unified muscle spasms. On top of it, I was nonstop vomiting all morning.”This isn’t normal, but it’ll pass.” I was driven to the Urgent Care, too sick to drive, and was diagnosed with Gastritis. A dose of anti-nausea medicine and antibiotics and I’ll be ok within a day or two like all the other times. But the pain got worse and ibuprofen wasn’t enough anymore, so I made a trip to the ER.

I arrived at 12 a.m. to the ER and barely made my way inside. 6 samples of blood, a 30 minute painful spinal tap, and multiple doses of pain medicine later, I was diagnosed with Dengue Fever. What is that? It’s just a simple disease that is transferred by mosquitoes in tropical climates. It attacks the nervous system of the body, causing reoccurring fevers, severe vomiting, extreme muscle and joint aches, loss of appetite, a migraine one couldn’t even wish on their worst enemy, and more symptoms. There’s a 25% chance of getting what’s called Severe Dengue Fever, which could potentially cause permanent side effects, such as brain damage and liver disease. 1% change of death. The best part? No antibiotics, no pain killers, no treatment to make the experience bearable. All one can do is suffer through the pain for 3-7 days, and recover from the after-effects the following weeks.

I left the ER with Tramadol, expecting just a couple days of being sick and then returning to my normal routine. What happened? Well, now on day 7, and I was able to leave the house for about an hour before I had a vomiting fit and a migraine that made me unable to look at light. Sounds nasty, but is actually a large improvement. Earlier this week, starting on Sunday, I was in such poor shape and a large amount of pain, I needed help to walk to the bathroom to throw up. I couldn’t walk, eat, drink, or barely talk. I called my mom a few times a day to scream about the frustration and pain I had. From just a simple mosquito bite, I went through one of the toughest challenges I’ve put my body through, and probably murdered my immune system.

A tough ass-whooping and reality check has reminded me that once things are going great, we always have to be stopped by a challenge. And I will always recommend to everyone that there’s no such thing as too little amount of bug spray.

P.S.

P.S. Mitch Albom is probably my favorite writer EVER. Definitely a go-to to read his quotes to feel better about, literally, anything.

If only I could write like him. Maybe sometime in the future.

I am Free.

As Janis Joplin said it best, “Freedom is just another word for ‘nothing left to lose.’ Nothing doesn’t mean nothing if it isn’t free.” Our paths are meant to be full of pain, sorrow, and happiness. We will be happy, balanced, and then shocked when our hearts feel something different than our minds. Some may have more sorrow than happiness, others may have more happiness than pain. It is obvious, we all know this. Yet, we still get surprised when change strikes us in the face.

We can only illusion our sense of reality so much, but will eventually see what really is there, whether we accept it or not.

The Pandora Box can come into play with this too. When the box was opened, all the darkness and negativity that could ever be imagined was released into the world. The horror, no matter how big or small, came into our lives. Yet, the little bug, Hope, followed, tempering the sorrow. Only Hope can drive us to continue. Sometimes we may believe in it, others give up.

News came to me and I have been devastated, haunted in memories and far, far suppressed feelings I pushed away for years. I won’t say any details, I can barely think at this point. But Hope is all I can hold on to. It is all that can keep me going. Moving on. Believing.

I have lost a lot in my life. I have gone through trauma that no one I know has experienced. I haven’t seen it on T.V., I haven’t seen it in real life, no where where I can relate my pain. My body is so sore, and I was even recovering a bit until last night.

As the Great Wakan Tanka teaches, “When that spirit comes, we don’t ever ask questions. If I don’t understand, I just hold onto it. Then later down the road, maybe in a couple of years, I understand what that spirit meant.”

I feel as though I have lost everything emotionally. I have lost the sturdiness I had before, the integrity, the courage, everything. Yet, I know it will make me stronger.

I am Free.

I’m a little sick of Vegans

Being a vegan can have its benefits, of course, or else people wouldn’t commit their life of depriving themselves from what actually tastes good. Granted, it may not be good for you, and they may have a point with the chemicals and stuff that’s injected into almost all food. Yet, some vegans take it overboard, shaming anyone that is okay with eating meat. For example, I will quote word by word (and post a screenshot) of one of the craziest vegans I’ve ever seen. And people actually agreed and supported her ignorance:

“Animal protein is proven to cause cancer. We may be able to digest meat but we aren’t supposed to be eating it. Just like the BREAST MILK we drink from cows-our body has a very hard time breaking down, as it’s designed to turn a baby calf into a 500+ pound cow. Are you a cow? After all you are literally what you eat. Every 7 years your cells replace themselves with the nutrients that you intake. It’s not that some of you may not like fruits and veggies. You taste buds are tailored and changed for artificial flavors, sugars, meat. And for anyone who thinks an animal’s death is the equivalent or no worse than a plants death, think a lil harder on that one. We are mamals too-murder someone and tell me their death is no less evil than killing a plant #freeDUMB”

This is no joke:

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Okay, first of all, cows are 800+ pound animals. That bothers me that she thinks they are so small. And there is research that milk from other animals does have their benefits for human bodies. I mean, native tribes all around the world, that haven’t been influenced by science or society, drink other animals milk because it does good things for the human body.

Second, ANIMAL PROTEIN DOES NOT CAUSE CANCER. The protein provides energy and helps in muscle growth just like the protein provided by plants and nuts. The injections into animal meat and hormones and manipulations to make animals bigger is what influences the risk of cancer. If animal meat is so bad for your body, then why did our ancestors, the first homo sapiens, hunt for animals to survive? For example, native american tribes depended on animal meat for their main source of food. Yes, they did gather food from non-animal sources, but it wasn’t sufficient enough to survive with the amount of energy they were burning.

And to compare killing a plant to killing a human to use as a moral comparison-I just can’t. I have no words.

She, and like many other vegans I know, are just like those Christians that boast about their beliefs and shame others who don’t follow in their path. Then use incorrect information and make up bullshit to support their ideas because they are so desperate. And, they are just “jumping on the bandwagon” to follow the movement of society (cough cough, California).

Now, I’m not saying all vegans are this way. I do know some that are humble about their diet and don’t announce it to the world. Plus, they have good intentions behind their life choice, it is a spiritual influence. They believe that the animals soul is connected in the meat they consume, and that negative energy would be passed through their mind and soul. I completely understand and respect that belief, they have all rights to have that mindset. Not my place to judge. But, these others bother me. At least I have this blog still to be able to rant on.

A Salute to America’s Ignorance

As the political wars fire up, I find myself wandering farther and farther from supporting the country. Not patriotic? Well, when in the Constitution that all Liberals and Conservatives preach, the statement, “All men are created equal,” seems to be interpreted incorrectly. The boldest, most honorable statement that could be put in a country’s Constitution is abused, how is that very patriotic?

I just saw a couple postings shared on Facebook from a “public figure” (with over 2 million likes on his page, ridiculous) protesting and calling out different advertisements and support for the LGBT people. He claims to be a Christian and wants to “make America great again,” but what does that exactly mean? By refusing to accept the most straight forward and simple statement that we are all created equal, how American can that really make you? I am trying to stay civil and calm, trying to understand how some people in this country, maybe too many, may pick and choose. But, as time goes on, as more and more hate crimes and events continue to happen, as the country continues to divide down the middle, it is so hard to sit here and let it happen. Yet, no matter what anyone says, just me, myself, I cannot not change or fix anything. I do not have power. If I choose to work for power, I am too late. I cannot go door to door to tell my neighbors not to believe in something or they should fight back, because it won’t make one impact on anyone. So, as I and many other people in my situation, we just have to wait. Let it take its course, ignore the ignorance shown by adults and children, observe the true morals everyone has, and wait until the main fiasco is over. Then, and only then, can we all make a difference, because a loud voice will make more a difference in a quiet room. I can’t feel sorry for another’s arrogance. I can’t change it. To argue with someone who feels just as passionately about their end of the spectrum is pointless, like talking to a wall (no pun intended). But, even as I realize this logical way about making change, I still sit here confused at how people in this day of age can still think the way they do. White supremacists? A waste of space. Just like Black supremacists, Latino supremacists, etc. No one is better than the other.

I’m not just talking about Conservatives, but also Liberals. Liberals can be just as bad, promoting just as much hate, taking the backlashes a little too far, just not handling the situation in a more mature way than the Conservatives. I mean, picking and choosing every little thing about the Conservatives just to make a desperate attempt to put them down? Ridiculous. I support Bernie Sanders to the end, because he truly wants everyone to have equal rights, to have equal opportunity. Those who oppose his policies claiming there won’t be a balance in the country, that everyone will just be rich, that’s ridiculous. Living in a world where everyone has money, but never living among those who don’t have running water, doesn’t let you choose their destiny. Trust me, there will be a balance. How? The differences of motivation one has. There will always be people who have little motivation and will have less paying jobs, but they will still have their basic needs and rights. Those who have more motivation will work for better paying jobs and still have their basic rights. But, in how the country thinks currently, I will give an example:

In the classroom, their are 4 rows of desks. The teacher places a trash bin in the front and tells each student to crumble a piece of paper. Then she says, “Now, try to throw the paper into the bin without standing up or moving the desk.” The students in the back exclaimed that it wasn’t fair since they were farther away and had the other students as obstacles in the way. Of course, as would be predicted, the students in the front row easily threw their papers into the bin. Those in the back, the majority missed. Let that sink in.

Now, as there is ignorance, arrogance, bigotry, prejudice, hatred, and opposition in every corner of the country, we will have a rough couple of years. But, waiting it out is the best option. Let it run through its course, let the arrogants get it out of their system, and make a change once their is more room to speak.

And to this mess, I salute to the United States of America’s true colors of ignorance.

Lirio del Valle

The Lirio del Valle, or Lily of the Valley, is a beautiful flower that prospers in mild climate with a short cultivation season. It has a beautiful scent that fills up empty spaces in a garden. But, this flower also has a deeper meaning.

The Lirio del Valle blooms in the darkness. Its true beauty and success is proven and emerges when it is surrounded by negativity, exposing its true colors. It is a symbol of humility, finding oneself’s true strength in a vulnerable time, and, despite all odds, it still grows into its full potential.

Lately, I have been faced with many challenges and lost my direction, I have been surrounded by darkness caused by doubt. Just tonight, I was given a not-so-easy choice with my actions:

A horse, one that was in extreme pain, was being kept just to profit from its owners. The owner of OK Corral Ranch, who owns the beautiful black Friesian stallion, had taken in the Gypsy Vanner colt to train. He is paid monthly to “work” with this poor horse. What had happened many, many months ago was that he broke his leg in a fence. Not just a crack in the bone, but the actual fetlock bone protruding out of his leg. He cannot put weight on it, just hobbling to his water and feed. He is covered in flies, especially on his injury, and his stall is filled with no less than a foot deep of muck and manure. This poor horse has been in this condition since January, if not earlier. I had noticed him a few times and was starstruck each time I saw his pain when I visited the ranch. I would ask Raul’s worker and my friend, Carlos, why the horse wasn’t put down. He would just shrug.

Today I had shared this with the owner of Duck N’ Stables, where I keep my horses. I told him the condition of the horse and his living space, and how Raul was torturing him just to be paid extra each month. The owner advised me that the right and moral thing to do was to report it to the county sheriff. I agreed, but there comes consequences.

I have thought of reporting it anonymously, but what if Raul traces it back to me? The police would surely take all of his animals, including his proud possession, and he would blame me? But there is also a chance he wouldn’t think it was me, it would be someone else. No matter where it goes, there would be repercussions. Serious repercussions.

I made this decision. I called the sheriff’s office and filed a report. They will investigate within the next few days. Meanwhile, I am committing to a lock down. I have enough food in my house to last a while, I won’t leave the house, only to go to the barn. The barn will be my safe place. It scares me, thinking of the possibilities of what could happen. But, I keep confiding in myself saying that I did the right thing. The Gypsy Vanner, as well as possibly the other animals at the ranch, will be taken care of. They will find better homes, if seized, and the Gypsy will be put out of the misery he has strongly endured.

As I think about it, I am able to parallel my life to his. I have gone through dark, dark times, endured each moment through the mental and physical pain. I was weak at times, and attempted to stay strong enough to keep going through others. This Gypsy has gone through pain, been tortured and abused to amounts unbearable to think about. Now, he will be rescued and move above.

I have risked my safety to save another living creature. I sit here wondering what could happen, the extents Raul may take to get revenge on my action. If he finds out. But, since he has a dark soul, filled with anger and depleted morals, maybe, just maybe, he will open his eyes to the harm he has caused, or will grow deeper in his arrogance.

Whatever the case may be, I will always remember this Gypsy. He is the first in a dyer situation that I have fearfully attempted to save, eventually relieving him from this pain without shying away due to the possible consequences. He has lasted in severe pain until the end, not giving up until his rescue. Though the poor animal had no choice but to wait day in and day out for his delayed mercy, his innocence will not fail him when granting him no blame.

This Gypsy is the true definition of the Lirio del Valle.

Looking Forward

Everything is looking forward, for the time being. I was offered a partnership in a breeding program with my boss, who sold me my Andalusian colt. She wants me to help her in breeding Andalusians, giving me a good portion of the profit, and to expand connections. Also, the barn owner where I train and keep my horses, Raul, wants to partner with me in expanding my training business with a horse training blog, which I’m going to start tonight. In addition to all of this, I am studying the art of traditional Spanish stock riding, called Doma Vaquera. I want to train my colt in this discipline and do demonstrations and events showing off this lost art, which will be a challenge, but never too late to start to learn something new. I wish I got into this type of riding years ago, but then again I was never really interested in the Andalusian breed. In St. Louis among the “horse community,” owning an Andalusian or Spanish bred horse was unheard of . Here in the valley, it is quite more often since they are mainly used to dance. But, I’d rather celebrate the reason of the creation of the breed instead of following the crowd. Of course, I will use my basic principles of horsemanship, but I will take new stretches in learning more of an international type horsemanship.

This post will be short and sweet, but I am excited in what the future holds, near and distant. I can’t wait in seeing what opportunities come my way, and to see where my current situation will take me in the future.