Wherein I Learn


It feels so good to touch paper and pen like skin to skin. God, I love you. Come be with me, I tell myself, grabbing toes and tugging me back down to earth so we can snuggle under words that protect and encourage like the new moon affirmations written in the margins of my planner: It’s OK baby. You’re OK baby. I never knew what loving meant until I paid close attention to my family’s love languages—their gifts and acts of service—until my friends praised and reassured me, until my lover rubbed my back and held me close.

I never knew what loving meant until I understood letting yourself be loved and cared for doesn’t make you weak. We can’t do everything alone; it’s not how we’re created.

I learned about creation when I was eight and my mom decided it was time for my first communion. During week three of catechism classes, the teacher taught us we can baptize ourselves and be forgiven every day.

After you’re done showering, cup water in your hands and pour it over your forehead. Say, “Dios me ama; Dios está contento conmigo.

I’m twenty-four and I still do this, though the water is splashed or slapped against my face and I say the words out-loud sometimes on Palm Sunday, usually on Easter, but lately never.

I revealed that I’m no longer Catholic in a fit of rage when I found out I’d been passed up for godmother because I’m an unmarried woman. I said, “This is bullshit; Ya no soy Catolica.” Even though I’d been confessing this sentiment in the margins to myself since I was nineteen.

Believe me, though, I didn’t plan it. These things just sometimes happen.

I baptized myself that evening, “Yo me amo. Yo estoy contenta conmigo.

God, I am ready to feel honored and free and good. Ready to ask for my body to devour a deep dish pizza. Please show me I can get up in the morning when my alarm rings twice. It should only take one loud sigh to pull me out of bed. I am ready to show my loves their time is sacred and I respect and value their existence. Maybe feeling the need to control stems from wishing there was less unpredictability in our lives. Perhaps I need structure because I am afraid to be me. Why am I afraid to show kindness and love to myself and sometimes those closest to me? I get embarrassed because I think I don’t deserve it or that I don’t know how, but who the fuck spread these lies, and why am I still listening?

By Cynthia Medrano.

Cynthia is a brown girl exploring arts and crafts as a form of resistance. She lives in Chicago and finally figured out how to keep her plants alive. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @drmcscrewhammer, and her Instagram project, @criticallyenraged.

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