Adapting to life… a lesson in living and the search for happiness!

Her letter was posted four weeks ago today. Her last blog post was date stamped August 17, 2013.

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A dear friend told me about her over coffee in my house over two weeks ago and I can not seem to get her out of my head. She haunts me in the loveliest ways… whispering “Don’t forget me… don’t forget me… I need you… I need your help!” This nudging in the way only a beautiful girl could disrupt me.

Excerpt from All My Love, V by Vanessa Libertad Garcia’s (her sunset letter)

“How does one begin, expand upon and then end the last letter they’re ever going to write?

Who knows!

At this point, who cares? I’m about to die, after all. If there’s ever a time in life to toss perfectionism to the wind, I guess it’s now. I’ll just be as honest and vulnerable as possible.

In the spirit of the modern age, I’ve decided to post my suicide letter as my final blog post. I don’t really know why other people have chosen to leave behind suicide letters. In my case, I’m writing one just to offer a little clarity on why I’ve decided to take this route out of existence instead of peacing out the old fashioned way via natural causes, car accident, plane crash, murder, cancer, etc.

Well, quite simply, I’ve been miserable for a long time. I’d say the chronic melancholia began at age 14 / 15.

My inability to adapt to life’s challenges and assimilate its’ lessons into wisdom, gratitude and optimism have left me psychologically torn, emotionally numb, physically exhausted, and spiritually destitute. I do feel, however, that I gave it a damn good try.”

Read full note here – http://vanessalibertadgarcia.com/all-my-love-v/

I cried for days after reading her love letter. I could feel every single word that she wrote… she was careful… she took her time… it was slow… well thought out. She had given up. She was done. She could no longer feel the pain anymore. She could no longer hold the tears back. She could no longer wear a mask.

Masks chip after some time… they tend to crumble.

There was a moment after the publication of my memoir where I felt what she describes here as I stood on the edge of the A train platform wondering what would happen if I took one step… ended all of the perceived pain inflicted by life choices, people, circumstances and past trauma. What if I was unable to assimilate life lessons into wisdom, gratitude and optimism? There is a hopelessness that sets in.

Vanessa uses the term MELANCOLIA:

melancolía s. f.
1 Sentimiento de tristeza sin causa definida:

This indefinable… constant… continual… never ending… reoccurring sadness…

It caused her pain just to be her… can we understand the seriousness of this kind of sadness?

This devastates me… all I can think about is what is happening to our little girls where they begin to not like the skin that they are in. What is the moment where a girl goes from being a carefree, innocent, beautiful spirit to a young womyn who can’t bear to look in the mirror? When does it happen that you don’t feel you belong anywhere?

29 years old
Filmmaker
Queer
Latina
Writer
Cuban
Mujer
Activist
American
Leader
Beautiful
Successful
Talented
Visionary
Intellectual
Writer

And with all her amazing qualities depression was a driving force… she was in an incredible amount of pain.

Depression
Sadness
Darkness
Solitude
Loneliness

She left this earth in a very public way. Yet she won’t get the media attention Whitney Houston or Princess Diana received with weeks and weeks of coverage.

VANESSA LIBERTAD GARCIA!!! Remember this name…

Who will continue to speak about her life?
Who will pass on her stories?
Who will remember her?
Who will write about her?
Who will tell young girls about her?
Who will tell the queer girls?
Who will tell all Latinas… all womyn of color about her and her amazing body of work at such a young age?

Yet with all of the amazing things she did none of her success made her happy.

Who will tell our girls … teach our girls where to turn to for happiness?

How can we teach something many of us don’t have the slightest idea how to achieve? Happiness!!!

It’s up to us to remember…

It’s up to us to talk about her… to have an open conversation about what is happening to our girls turned womyn. It is up to us to honor her life. It is up to us to see her… to really SEE HER!!! To see her in so many of us.

In my life alone I know at least ten womyn much Vanessa Libertad Garcia who walk in this world with so much hope, so much faith… a longing, desiring… constantly moving but somehow feeling like they are standing still and moving nowhere. I feel like her story is moving through me like a black and white, slow motion, silent film… retracing my life… my past… my story… my daughter… she could have been my daughter. I am thinking about moments where I have felt some of the pain she so eloquently wrote in her final LOVE LETTER to the world. Her despedida…

Today I am carrying Vanessa Libertad Garcia in my heart… and in my work.

In honor her, I will be offering a yearly writing scholarship in her name to a writer who dreams of achieving big things:

The Vanessa Libertad Garcia Writing Scholarship!

Also, this October the NYC Latina Writer’s Group will be celebrating it’s 7th Year Anniversary which will be dedicated to her.

I will always remember you Vanessa Libertad Garcia… may you rest… know happiness… sleep… luz para tu espiritu.

Beautiful girls you are not alone. Ask us for help. We will hold you. I will hold you.

Ache`

Articles on Vanessa and her work:

Video/reel: http://www.youtube.com/user/VanessaLGarcia1

http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/08/latina_filmmaker_vanessa_libertad_garcia_dies_at_age_29.html

And so it is~

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3 thoughts on “Adapting to life… a lesson in living and the search for happiness!

  1. Thanks for sharing her story; I was able to read her entire note. It is unfortunate but at the same time I understand how she is feeling. I probably am not as sad as she is; but i have experienced a constant sadness for years. And I have hope, and i keep going to college, and I continue to strive to “be something” I guess to make others happy. But i do not think I am doing what makes me happy, I do not even know what I like or what would make me happy unfortunately. I live my life to please others. My mother died 1-30-14; and since that day it has been hard to be motivated because most of what I did in life was to make her proud. Now there is nobody to make proud i guess. I’ll keep striving for better, and I will never take my life but I often wonder…where is the happiness?

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    1. “Where is the happiness? Striving to be better… liking what I do… making her proud.”

      Hey Heather, thanks for being so honest. I am so sorry to hear you lost your mother. I am sending you and her light. Happiness is probably the one thing I have always said I wanted to have above all things, before money, before careers, before relationships… I have always wanted to walk in happiness and then life throws us experiences that challenge that. I too have lived to make my parents proud. And all this has so much to do with acceptance and feeling loved. All I really want to say is stay open, know your mother is proud of you, remind yourself of beautiful memories and definitely do what you love in life. Happiness and joy are states of being I remind myself of this often. Sending you love.

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