November 8, 2016 was a pivotal moment. The Presidential Election was a crucial event and it was the last nail in the coffin for me, I knew then; that it was time to make some adjustments and prepared mentally for what was to come.
2016 as it was, had already been a challenging year for me, marred with financial, health, behavioral issues, and on top of all that working overnight hours created the perfect storm and my drinking habit began to disrupt my life. It was getting out of control, it was only a matter of time before getting bit in the ass by my actions. Then, in March 2016 it happened, I got stopped and detained for DWI. I spent three days in a detention center and charged for a misdemeanor. What came after this incident was; what I can only describe as a miserable rest of the year, there were fines, court hearings, sobriety courses, monitoring devices put in my car, probation appointments, community service, suspension of drivers license. It was truly unbearable and this caused me to fall into a deep depression. There were times when I would go though my days feeling numb, jaded, guilty, resentful, and lonely. You name the feeling… I experienced it.
Watching the Presidential election unfold was a difficult pill to swallow, I have never seen myself so threatened by the rhetoric of one candidate, and I have never seen myself so full of hope by the message of the other one. Yes! It was that contrasty from my point of view, there was no middle ground for me, in my eyes. One candidate literally thrust into the election and launch the campaign by demonizing me in ways no one has ever done, by the time the election was over, I had too many labels on me… I was no longer feeling human. I was a Mexican, criminal, bad hombre, undocumented, gay, lazy, uneducated, and I was no longer welcome. In the eyes of the other Candidate, I had been a hard working immigrant, deserving of becoming an American, to no longer feel disenfranchised and able to come out of the shadows, be able to let my voice be heard and have people listen for once. My future in the United States was a black and white canvas and I walking on a thinly rope, either I fall into the darkness or I fall into the light.
The days, weeks, and months, after the Presidential election were filled with fear, uncertainty, and resignation. Through my daily life I became weary, I felt like a target. The following morning after the election, I got on the train and head home from work. I sensed a totally different America, I could no longer looked at anyone straight in the eye, I felt ashamed and vulnerable. During this period I began making preparations for the inevitable, little by little I started making changes to my lifestyle, I began purging and getting rid of some of my belongings, I sold some of my furniture, I gave some of my clothes away, I spoke to my closest friends and confided in them about my fears, preparations and I thanked them for all the wonderful memories.
At home I was very quiet, I made sure my roommate would not suspect anything about my worries and fears. I was truly devastated, my friends were truly devastated at the prospect of me having to leave the Country, but I told them “I’m ready… whatever happens it is meant to be” I told them “I don’t see myself living in the America that is about to become” and things happen for a reason, a few days before ‘my last probation appointment’ I spoke to my friend Henry and he told me “If anything happens, you can always come and live with us..” A week before ‘my probation appointment’ my roommate Hope and I took the dogs for a walk, I t was the first and the last time we ever did that… we talked and I told her how happy I was that was going to be my last appointment, I told her I just needed to go to the store and buy some jars of peanut butter for my community service, The next thing I know she surprised me with a bag full of peanut butter jars for my probation appointment, that was such a nice gesture. In the last few months I made amends with some of my friends that I had forgotten for so long, I began to frequent my friend Armando and his partner more often, I would call him and say “I’m in the vicinity, I’m dropping by… I hope I’m not imposing” for which he always replied with a laugh “You are always imposing.. bitch..” on the last few months, my friend Gustavo and I had make it habit that on Wednesday mornings I would go to his house after my graveyard shift and have breakfast with him. I love those breakfast, Gustavo would cooked for me and sometimes I would helped him, but mostly he did everything, he’s such good cook..!
Writing this blog was bittersweet and I hope that I get to see all of my friends one day once again… This is the way it was meant to happen, perhaps this is the change that I much needed in my life, whatever comes from it all I am aiming for a better future and the hope to one day I’m able to return and visit all of you..!