Thursday, May 18, 2023

A dream come true: The Killers

Way back when the world was simple say Februrary 2020, The Killers accounced a world tour for their Imploding the Mirage albun included on this tour was a stop in Houston.  I immediately jumped to make plans to attend.  Then as you know in March 2020 the world shut down.  I know we all had hopes that this was a couple of weeks things that lasted so much longer.  The tour was postponed to September 2022.  Again I started making my plans.  Budgeting and planning to take time off and then they postponed the show again.  

Okay shit happens.  Budgeting is still on point and the days off still work.  I buy the tickets.  My husband is going and one of my peeps is going.  We are all set for the March 25 2023.  I'm vibrating with excitment.  This concert is 3 years delayed.  They have released 2 more albums since Imploding the Mirage.  This is the going to be the best day ever and that morning I notice an email from the Toyota Center annoucing a postponement!  What the actual fuck!?  They had just played an amazing showing in Oklahoma on the 24th.  How are they postponing with less than 24 hrs notice?!

I was pissed but really I was disappointed.  I know life happens.  Brandon Flowers was sick and it sounded like he gave his all at the Oklahoma show.  Who wants to listen to a barely there Brandon?  So I get it.  I quickly changed the hotel reservation and that was that.  Only thing left to do was wait for May 14th.

When The Killers resumed the tour a couple days and posted pictures, I acutally cried.  The hurt was more profound than I had thought.  I really wanted to go and relax and be a fan instead of a mom for one day.  But I had hope my day would come and I would in fact be a fan instead of a mom for just a few hours.  About a week before the concert I did have a nightmare tha the concert had been postponed again and I immedately opened my app to see if the concert had been moved.

Sunday, I checked all of the socials, my email, the AXS app, and the Toyota Center app to just make sure the concert was still on.  At 1pm as we were getting ready to go to Houston, the bottom fell out of the sky.  Pouring rain, just pouring.  We got on the road at 1:30 but it was still coming down in sheets.  At one point my husband almost gave up and wanted to turn around but we kept moving forward.

Once we stopped to fill up in Livingston, the rain let up and the rest of the drive was relaxing.  My excitement building with each hour that ticked by.  We have a nice dinner and then checked into the hotel to relax.  Our hotel was across the way from the Toyota Center so we would not have to search for parking just walk over.  This became a hipcup since my husband's ankle decided to attack him and left him hobbled.  Still, he powered through and let me just run around as I pleased with him following many steps behind.

So we get to the Toyota Center and it is huge!  I had never been.  We walk past the merch table and the line was hella long.  We find our way to the escaltor so hubby would not have to take stairs.  We find our nose-bleed seats and we wait.  

The Lemon Twigs kicked off the night with an okay set.  They are young and the sound wasn't quite right so the set wasn't great.  I think as they get more clout their set will be better simply because the sound techs will actually care.  Cool that was at like 8 for a 7:30 show.  They finish about 8:30 and we wait.  I'm almost jumping out of my skin.  Is this really happening?  Will The Killers go on?

Just about at 9pm, the band doctor comes out.  I have an announcement.  "Unfortunately . . . "  Like the crowd went silent and was ready to pounce if this was anything other than a joke.  Finally, yes, the band can go on.  After a loud cheer, the crowd again goes silent in anticipation.

The band comes out and we heard the first fews notes of My Soul's Own Warning.  I let out a massive scream of joy and then proceed to sing every single song for the rest of the night.  Amazing show!  Like epic!  Easily the best concert I have ever very been too.  They were worth the wait and I can't wait to go seem them again.

I told my husband that it must have been like what an Elvis vegas show was like.  Brandon had complete control of the crowd.  We sang.  We danced in our seats.  We stood and danced.  It was amazing.  Like the whole night was one of the best nights of my life.  

If you get a chance to see them in concert go.  My husband was not really a fan.  My peep was also not a massive fan and even they had a blast.  I was on cloud night.  I'm still listening to the set list.  I created a Spotify playlist and I just have it on repeat.  I will never forget the joy of that night.  A dream being better than expected.  A payoff that makes you believe that good things come to those who wait.

Monday, February 6, 2023

What is a friend?

 So this is a theme for me especially since I moved back to Texas in 2009.  What does it mean to be a friend?  What does is mean to have a friend?

Honestly at the age of almost 44, I still don't really know.  I feel like I have never really used that concept correctly.  If you had asked me today how many friends do I have, my answer would be zero.  But I know that isn't true.  

Here is the thing, like what really makes someone your friend?  I have a friend who lives in California.  I love her.  She truly treats my girls like they are her nieces.  She calls to check on me.  But there is a physical distance that keeps us apart.

I like to think I have local friends but this is the rub, if I can go weeks without seeing them, weeks without them reaching out, never get invited to anything outside of the box I fill, are they my friends?  Maybe what I have are close acquaintances.  On top of that is the feeling of being unthether because I changed jobs in October.  So all of my work friends are gone.  My current space feels at times really hostile and at other times really inviting.  I really feel unbalanced.

Now back to the friendship thing.  I know the problem is me.  Like I have no doubt I'm the issue so if you consider yourself my friend and are really this, it isn't you, it really is me.  Why do I feel so alone and disconnected?  What does the fact that I have people I only see to work out with or people who use me as soundboard mean?  

I do not know the friends of my friends.  I do not get invited to anything outside of running/working-out or to listen to someone's issues.  I don't get invited to parties.  No one mentions going to events together as a group.  I do hear about all of the cool things after but there is not invitation to actually join.  I don't want to be in spaces where I'm not invited.  Again, a me issue.  I don't want to be told well you can come if you want.  Or worse yet, well it is open to everyone so you know you can just show up.  That is not a fucking invitation.  That is your space and if you wanted me there then you would say that, right?

I'm rambling but I'm struggling.  I haven't seen what I thought of as a friendly-face outside of my family and work in 3 weeks.  No telling when if I'll ever see anyone again unless I go begging people for their time.  I hate begging.  I hate having to reach out especially when I'm feeling so raw.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Finding my running mojo: The Rise of Blaxican MMA

 As is often the case this blog post started from a conversation.  I was having a conversation with a friend about his goals for the year and he mentioned that not everyone does things with a goal in mind, implying I never do anything without a goal.  He pointed out that I run for races.  Now I have been saying that I haven't been running much because I needed a goal/race but that isn't really the issue.

So what was/is the issue.  Well when I took running up the last time, about 5 years ago, it was a way to get through the stress of my dad's colon cancer journey.  Thankfully he has been in remission for almost 4 years so what kept me going over the last 4 years?  Well the stress of my job and wanting to hit  certain mileage or races.  When I made the decision to finally change jobs to something with significantly less stress, my running also kinda dropped.  Now, the struggle for miles has been hard seemingly for everyone in 2022.  Both of my run partners worked through illness and injury.  None of us hit our mileage goals for the year.  The point is I wasn't alone but yes overall I had lost the motivation to run.  I had the least amount of miles since dad's diagnoses.

How do you reverse a trend, you want to actually change, especially when it is something that you use to love?  Well I started the year committeed to completing the None 2 Run program, again.  If you don't know this program I highly recommend it.  I completed C25K many years ago and let me tell you, None 2 Run is better.  Their app, newly released for Android, is wonderful!  Okay so I'm going to get back to running slowly.  Cool, right?  12 weeks to complete the program.  12 weeks to get back to consistently running 3 times a week.  Is that enough?

Yesterday, I decided to binge watch Harry and Megan on Netflix.  If you have been around at all in the 14 years of this blog then you know I have mixed-race children.  So listening to Megan Markle speaking about her experiences as a mixed-raced person, I tried to really listen not just hear but listen to her pain.  I got uncomfortable.  When her mother spoke about wishing she had taught her daughter what it is like to experience being Black, I felt a pang of terror.  I am not a Black woman.  My oldest daughter is Black presenting.  How do I prepare her to be Black when I have no clue?

How do I prepare a child who wants to enter the MMA ring when there aren't people like her in that space, at least not on the international stage?  How do I support her in her journey when I have no clue what that is like?  Now don't get me wrong, I know racism.  I grew up in deep East Texas as a 1st gen Mexican American.  I know what it is like to be called a wetback and told to go back to where you came from.  I know those.  It wasn't until I started working at an HBCU that I really began to understand that I don't know dick about being Black in America, that pain has deep roots.  I'm a newly formed American.  I am a rock in a shoe.  Black in America is the foundation of this country.  But like any foundation, the house doesn't acknowledge that without the foundation, it would fall.  The foundation takes all of the weight, the hits, the abuse and as long as it is quiet no one talks about the foundation.  How do I teach my daughters that?  

But to yesterday, I had just finished the next to the last episode of the Harry and Megan series and I just needed to run.  Run to think my way through the thoughts I don't feel like I can share with anyone because I don't know anyone who is doing this: navigating a Black-presenting MMA phenom on to the international stage.  It's not that I can't talk to people about it but who really understands?  Who can help me through the emotional side of the illogical (or maybe not illogical) arguement that I am a liablity to my daughter's career?

See the agruement in my head says that because she looks "like a Black girl" but isn't "all the way Black," Black-owned companies are not going to want to work with her.  Because she is Mexican but doesn't "look Mexican" then Latino-owned business aren't going to want to work with her.  Business need to invest in fighters that others can connect with.  Can the world connect with a fighter who doesn't match any of their sterotypes?

I have told my child that because of how she looks, she could in theory hide her Mexicaness.  She can exist as a Black woman but that she needs to be careful because you don't want your secret to be used against you.  I told her that and then created her figther social media account as Blaxican MMA (find her on Instagram).  I didn't give her a real choice because I don't want her career to be blown up by a "major revelation" that she isn't just Black.  

I have been to all of her major events and I haven't seen families like ours.  I have seen Black families and Latino families.  I have seen mixed families but not mixed like ours.  I watch MMA events, UFC, Bellaor, and ONE, and there aren't fighers like her.  What I have seen, mostly during UFC fights, is the hate thrown at the Black fighters.  How do I willingly put my child through that?

I have even seen it to some extent in her gym.  The teammates she trains with are creating personas that mimic popular UFC fighters, conservative White elite racist mysoginistic homophobic who play to the MAGA audience.  I have stopped following some of their accounts because I don't want their brand mixing with hers.  But y'all it isn't just about branding, it makes me question who is actually in her corner?  When people are throwing the "N-word" at her, will her teammates defend her or join in?  I have watch them use that word against other fighters.  So with the entire audience against her will they stand with her?  Y'all I don't know.  I honestly don't know and that scares me.

So how does that connect to running?  Well, one of the wonderful aspects of running for me is the freedom to process my thoughts and to cry freely.  No one questions why you are crying when you are running.  They assume you in pain and tears follow pain.  It is true, I am running through some pain.  The uncomfortableness of mile whatever helps me process whatever is going through in mind.  Where is the connection?  I ran yesterday to process these thoughts.  I need to talk (even if it is just to myself) about the terror that the Harry and Megan series brought up for me.  I need to work my way from I am a liabilty to my daughter's career to  my daughter's mixed heritage is a point of pride a selling point.  I need to remind myself that if a brand won't work with her because of her mixed-heritage then that is probably a brand we don't want to work with anyway.  I need miles on my feet to remind me that even if she never gets a sponsor and I have to take on more work to finance her career myself that doesn't mean she isn't a phenom.  Her skills and drive are worth any and all work I have to do.  I have to work on my mindset to be ready to stand with my daughter no matter the insults thrown at her or the opportunities that disappear because she doesn't fit a mold.  

I am no longer running to get through my dad's cancer journey.  I am no longer running to deal with job stress.  I am running to be a strong mom and help my daughter conquer MMA.  I am running through, to, for the rise of Blaxican MMA.