• Poetry

    Flowers 💐

    She smiled shyly the first time she brought me flowers-
    They were my favorite colors.
    She wanted me to remember
    That someone was thinking about me
    And that I was not alone as I navigated my grief.

    I later took pictures of the bouquet from all different angles
    And sent the photos to all my friends
    Who were so impressed by such thoughtfulness

    She smiled proudly the next few times she gifted me a flower arrangement
    Some were roses of different sizes,
    Others were seasonal blooms
    The flowers were to honor our anniversaries,
    Or to celebrate my accomplishments

    I took pictures of all those flowers
    And I changed their water daily
    To extend the time I could admire them before they wilted

    At some point, her smiles weakened
    Sometimes even tears stained her cheeks,
    When she handed me beautiful flowers
    In an attempt to seek forgiveness,
    To seek reassurance of my love for her

    I always accepted the flowers graciously
    And put them in a vase
    To be admired until they died, or until they stank too much

    The last time she brought me a bouquet, she was crying hysterically
    She had been waiting an hour for me
    And I had been waiting for weeks for things to improve between us.
    Her shoulders slumped as she offered me the flowers
    This time…I told her to keep them

    She put them in a vase,
    Placed the vase on her nightstand
    And sent me a picture.

    © 2019 Vic Romero

  • Speaking My Mind

    Dating Again?

    I’ve begun watching Sex and the City, and it is an addictive show. First of all, I love 90s/early 2000s shows, and I also love shows that center around a group of friends that I can connect with. Lately, I’ve been connecting with Miranda in Season 2, who so far is bitter in regards to dating. She is closed off to getting serious with someone because every person she dates proves to be scum.

    While I am not dating casually and thus I am not meeting scumbags, I think I’ve become bitter and closed off to dating. One of my hometown friends pointed it out to me on the phone recently. She affirmed my suspicion that I need more time alone to heal, but she also warned not to be closed off to dating in the future. Unfortunately, I currently don’t envision myself being open-hearted anytime soon, especially considering how I’ve sabotaged my breakup healing process time and time again. It’s as if I keep picking at the scab, which causes it to hurt and bleed, yet I wonder why the scab is taking so long to heal…

    Let me provide an example.

    A few days before my sister graduated from college, I found out my ex was in a new relationship. While it has been about four months since our breakup, up until the week prior to her committing to someone new, we had been talking nearly daily.

    Yes, I know that this was not the best way to handle a non-mutual breakup. 

    Unsurprisingly, we weren’t talking amicably as friends. She would confess that she missed me, that she still wanted to be with me, etc. I would reciprocate the feelings of missing her and still loving her, but I repeated that I stood by my decision to end things.

    Anyway, finding out that she was with someone new caused me to completely lose all control over my emotions. Hysteria transformed to despair, and then to possessive jealousy that inspired me to hook up with my ex in her car after a night of bar-hopping together.

    No, I don’t know what I was thinking because I wasn’t thinking.

    I gradually came to accept the situation, albeit with some bumps that still need to be smoothed out. Those bumps are called nostalgia with a few dashes of illusion: I miss who I was when we were together, I miss how we were together, and most confusing of all, I miss who I thought she was and/or who I wanted her to be.

    Clearly, I am not emotionally capable to casually date, let alone get seriously involved with someone. Instead, I want to spend time with my friends and family and mingle with new people. I want to focus on my full-time job, on teaching and studying yoga, on reading, and on creating. I think I’ve been pretty successful in doing these things, although it takes a lot more energy to do them rather than mindlessly watching TV, which was what I was doing previously.

    When my energy feels low or when I get trapped in the nostalgia/illusion bumps, it’s helpful to reflect on why I ended things with her. There are a few reasons: I didn’t feel like I was being treated the way I deserved, no matter how many times we talked about our issues, and I didn’t want to be held back anymore. I didn’t want to spend so much time and energy on our relationship, partially attributed to the fact that it had become taxing and toxic. Most importantly though, I broke things off because I wanted to focus completely on myself. I wanted to be selfish and I didn’t want to feel bad about it.

    I do believe that I’ve attracted more positivity into my life since releasing the heavy, negative energy of my last relationship. However, waves of loneliness crash on me sometimes, especially when my friends share stories about or pictures of their serious relationships. It causes me to crave the rush of falling in love, of being in love, and feeling at home with someone. It simultaneously causes me to desire more single friends I can commiserate with about dating, like in Sex and the City.

    Anyway, I will have to manage with the occasional loneliness because I don’t want to put myself out there yet. I wouldn’t be offering my best self because I don’t feel like my best self even to myself. I want to finally allow the scab to heal and I want to smooth out all the bumps around it. Hopefully, it won’t take as long as it did when my first ex and I split, but even if it does, I want to have my own fun in the meantime.

    xx Vic

  • Poetry

    Tell Me How

    So…tell me how it all happened.

    Did it begin when you sent her a flirty text?
    Did you send that text between professing your love for me
    And conveying how much you missed me?

    Did you ask her out on a date
    Between wrongfully accusing me of dating my friend,
    and expressing how upset you’d be if that were true?

    Did you hold her hand after texting me
    To ask if you can still see me this summer
    Because you couldn’t imagine your life without me?

    Did you kiss her between writing about me
    And confessing that you’re still grieving the relationship?

    When did you begin to fall for her?
    Around the time you blew up my phone
    To call me a coward
    For not responding to your texts
    About hopefully getting back together again in the future?

    I don’t know when you finally found the closure
    I tried to give you at the end of our relationship,
    And I don’t know when you found someone else to love,
    But these endings and beginnings seem to blur

    I think you only began to respect my desire for space
    Because you became distracted by her.

    © 2019 Vic Romero

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  • Poetry

    surpassing

    back then
    each passing day
    was one day toward a milestone-

    one week
    one month
    one year together

    we celebrated with fresh flowers,
    thoughtful love letters,
    and dinner while holding hands across the table

    now
    each passing day
    is one more day that we’ve been apart

    one week
    one month
    eventually one year

    i acknowledge those days now
    but I probably will forget about them later

    eventually the days apart will surpass the days spent together

    © 2019 Vic Romero

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  • Speaking My Mind

    April Showers Bring May Flowers

    Today would have been the second-year anniversary with my ex. Although we didn’t quite make it to two years as a couple, she was part of my life for more than two years and…I didn’t realize how much of an influence she had on me until she was gone. She has seemingly tainted everything.

    Parts of my wardrobe were either gifts from her or they are from activities that we did together. Places we went together, that I still frequent, remind me of her. Some items I use daily are gifts from her. She’s permeated most, if not all, aspects of my life.

    I also hadn’t realized until recently that it was never possible for things to end well between us because we hadn’t been on the same wavelength for a long time. So…processing that has been devastating.

    A few other things have been difficult to process as well lately.

    Tomorrow my cousin would have turned twenty-eight. I wish she was still here with us.

    I haven’t really talked about this much, if at all, but my mom is beginning treatment next week for her cancer. She was diagnosed the day after my cousin passed away, so it’s not exactly a new situation. She’s doing well, but what she is enduring is scary and exhausting. This will be her first time doing any type of treatment. Yoga has been helping her tremendously though. She goes to all of my yoga classes and has been practicing pranayama (breathing) and mindfulness in her everyday life, especially when she goes to the doctor. I’m really proud of her.

    Then things will become a little sunnier.

    A few weeks after she begins treatment, my sister will graduate from college. I’m so proud of my sister, but I can’t believe how fast time flies.

    The week after my mom is finished with treatment and after my sister graduates, my family and I are going on a much-needed and well-deserved vacation to Disney to celebrate all of the endings and to welcome the new beginnings.

    So…while April may be a difficult month, it’s watering the soil to support growth in May. Hopefully there will be many flowers.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Whack-A-Mole

    One day I will have it all: A bountiful, dynamic, creative career, and a satisfying, secure, love life. That day is not today though. 

    Today, I feel like I’m playing whack-a-mole. For months I was stressed about my professional life and not worried about my romantic life at all. Now, my professional life is flowing, and my romantic life has been torched to the ground and then pulverized for good measure.

    I’ve become a little numb to the devastation of my relationship. This is both good and bad…good because I’m able to function relatively normally at work, with my family, and with friends. It’s bad because my feelings aren’t really being addressed since I opt to distract myself, thus this numbness has been hampering my creativity.

    So…below is a little check-in with myself based on my breakup-recovery checklist from a few weeks ago.

    How to Bounce Back from a Breakup

    1. Keep applying for jobs. I know, this is probably the most eye-roll-inducing item on the list considering “applying to jobs” is all that I’ve done since May. I will land a job soon though, I’m positive of it. I did land a job! It’s fantastic!
    2. Clean my room and the spare room, which is essentially a disastrous extension of my room because it’s filled primarily with my own belongings. I don’t need that much shit! If most of it was thrown out, I wouldn’t even notice. Plus, by organizing my space, I am more prepared to move out. I did organize a little bit…but this is still a huge “to do.”
    3. Get a haircut and paint my nails. Sure, they’re not necessarily transformative tasks, but I am well overdue for a haircut and painting my nails would make me feel fancy, which is important. I want to feel good about myself. I did get a haircut, but I never painted my nails. 
    4. Plan a weekend trip, then actually follow-through on it. It’ll be something to look forward to, which I definitely need. I’ve been doing my best to plan small outings with friends on the weekend. It’s definitely been helpful.
    5. Lean on the friends that I have during this time of healing. Yes, but more importantly, I need to allow myself to grieve.
    6. When I get a job, fearlessly put myself out there, both professionally and casually. Perhaps I can make some new friends through work. I get along with my coworkers really well! We plan to go to a Thai meditation center together next week.
    7. Finish reading Don Quixote because I’ve been meaning to finish it for over a year, plus it’s hilarious, which I definitely need in my life right now. I haven’t finished this book, but I’ve finished about three or four other books. This is still a work in progress.
    8. Resume reading my chakra book so I can begin to create chakra yoga classes. That will be a fulfilling project to work on and to share with my students. I haven’t done this. 
    9. Do guided meditations for a few weeks to establish the habit of meditating. Meditation is medicine. I did it for a bit but my meditation habit continues to be inconsistent. 
    10. Find something weekly to get excited about and to look forward to. This can be something as simple as treating myself to a nice meal or trying a new class at the gym. Yes…I’ve accomplished this. 
    11. Free-write daily to alleviate my burdensome thoughts. Express myself and my creativity! I have been journaling…it helps.
    12. Until I get a job, find ways to engage with people. This can be by making small talk with someone while I wait in line at the register or by offering someone I pass a compliment. Lately, I’ve been engaging with people primarily at work. 

    One thing I’d like to add to my list is below:

    13. Allot time to grieve weekly.

    Do you have any breakup recovery tips? Let me know in the comments below!

    Have a splendid weekend 🙂

    xx Vic

     

  • Poetry

    Five Years Later

    I’ve reluctantly returned to this shabby town:
    A graveyard of my former friends-turned-foes
    Five years ago, the demons had burned this shithole down
    It has since become silent here, lone for the anguished, laughing echoes

    Only my ghosts thrive here now
    Incapacitated since the demolition
    When I pass them, their white lips are pressed into frowns
    Their eyes are haunted by regretful recognition

    © 2019 Vic Romero

    All Rights Reserved

  • Short Stories

    In A Single Moment

    The silver ring glistened beneath the clear water in the harsh fluorescent light. Stunned at my mishap, I gazed at the ring, which now rested at the bottom of the porcelain bowl. Thank god I hadn’t used the toilet yet.

    Still, I wasn’t eager to stick my hand into the toilet bowl, considering it was a public one. I pursed my lips, also reluctant to flush the ring with all of its significance down the drain.

    The truth was that that whole relationship had gone down the drain, so maybe the ring didn’t matter anymore. It had been two months since we stopped seeing each other, yet I still wore the ring religiously.

    I brought my hand that usually donned the ring to my face, and frowned at its nakedness. My hand had gone from glamorous to dull in a moment of negligence. My hand used to wear a ring that symbolized love, but then the ring became a reminder of what I lacked.

    I had gone from strolling beside her while holding her soft warm hand, to trudging along, empty-handed. My hand used to caress her smooth skin as she slept curled into my side, but now my hand only caresses the folds in between my thighs when I’m vying for a single moment of joy and bliss in my otherwise depressive existence.

    Then my biggest fear struck me: Will someone be able to love me again? Do I deserve love?

    I lowered my hand and stared helplessly into the toilet. I sighed deeply, and then flushed the ring down the drain.

     

    © 2019 Vic Romero

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

     

  • Mysticism

    Realigning with My True Self – An Oracle Card Reading

    September has been emotionally difficult because every day feels like a futile fight to stay positive and to cultivate a future. It seems like a futile fight because most days I wake up already in a bad mood, and on the few days when I actually wake up excited and I work toward my goals, I end up feeling defeated and depressed by the end of the night.

    I try not to casually throw around the word, “depressed,” because I don’t want to misuse it…but I feel like after weeks of crying daily, instigating tons unnecessary fights with my mom and with my girlfriend, emotionally beating myself up, reducing myself to nothing, and wishing I could escape from reality warrants the use of the term, “depressed.”

    I have only wished I could disappear when I am struggling to cope with change, struggling to stay afloat, and struggling to thrive. Right now I’m struggling with all three, so it’s overwhelming.

    I’m not sharing this to worry anyone…I don’t want to hurt myself, I just don’t always want to deal with my life. Not because my life is bad or anything, because my life isn’t bad at all. I have food, a home, a caring family, health insurance, and I’m finally working part-time. My life is good and comfortable, which I’m grateful for and I try to remind myself of this all of the time.

    Despite acknowledging my blessings, I get caught up in my stagnancy. When I focus my energy on taking steps toward my goals so I can move forward, I doubt myself and I doubt my ability to move forward at all. It’s a toxic cycle that unfortunately has poisoned my emotional well-being as well as my relationships. I don’t want to be around anyone because I feel like poison. Isolation exacerbates my depression too.

    So…I pulled my Ganesha cards on Monday to get some insight and guidance that I can reflect upon. I’m not going to share a picture of my cards this time because most of them I have already shared on my blog.

    My Reading

    1. The first card, which represents where I am now, I pulled Positive Outlook. I was bewildered when I saw this card because as noted previously, I wouldn’t consider myself having a positive outlook at the moment. Well, the card is about how all circumstances are neutral, and it is one’s mental attitude that influences how it is perceived. It reminds me of what I have read in The Untethered Soul as well as something I had painted on a flowerpot after my grief group concluded two years ago: Your perception is your reality. I suppose I need to take a step back from judging my experiences as negative and to at least view things as neutral.
    2. Sustenance is the card that represents my next steps. The painting on the card is of Ganesha enjoying a buffet, but the card isn’t about food. It’s about how I need to acknowledge my blessings as well as acknowledge the abundance of ways to support my desires. I need to understand my needs and satiate them, even if it’s scary or unconventional.
    3. My obstacle is Cultivation, which is strongly linked to music. Music creates communities and it soothes the soul, causing music to be a method for connecting to spirits. I haven’t been listening to music too much…I either listen to podcasts or watch something on Netflix. When I’m not listening to these things, I spend my time in silence…but I suppose it’s a little too isolating right now. Perhaps replacing the silence with my yoga playlists would facilitate some more positive thinking, creativity, and a sense of belonging.
    4. My resource for overcoming my inability to cultivate is Reflection. When I saw this card, I was like “duh, I’m great at reflecting! I reflect and write weekly!” When I read the description of this card though, I was speechless. I’ll just share what it all says.

    “You have reached the point in your life’s journey where self-judgment and criticism no longer serve you. It is imperative that you understand and appreciate the distinctive persona that you bring into all situations. Each of us has our own unique path….Through reflection and visualization, get in touch with the wise person within you.” – Whispers of Lord Ganesha Oracle Cards by Angela Hartfield

    While this card is titled “Reflection,” I feel like it is about more than that…and it really resonated with me.

    5. My new outcome is “Acceptance,” which I’ve pulled multiple times because I’m always fighting with my true self. This relates back to alignment as well. Life will become easier when I accept my true self and when I accept that I don’t have to know everything. The reality that I don’t know anything about my future has been weighing on me because it’s an uncomfortable feeling. I haven’t been enjoying living in the unknown and not having all of the answers right now. My life will improve though when I look at my experiences and the world from a more spiritual perspective as well as by not placing so much value on my thoughts.

    All of these cards address connecting with who I really am…thus, that may be the key to transforming my perspective and my life. It will take some time and patience to realign with my true self via these suggestions from my Ganesha cards. My meditation practice, although not daily (yet), will help me get there too.

    Also…while I feel like I have been stagnant, that isn’t necessarily true. As I’ve mentioned previously, I am now working a part-time job. I am also almost done with the hiring process to teach a regular yoga class in my town. I doubted I was going to be able to teach yoga this year and if I hadn’t nailed the audition, I was going to postpone my teaching dreams…but the universe surprised me. Lastly, after avoiding and debating with myself for several months, I finally booked a GRE test date!

    So…things are moving. I’m progressing, contrary to what I believe.

    If you would like an oracle card reading, please comment below or email me at hello@unziptheselips.com.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Remembering

    Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of the passing of my cousin.

    It had actually slipped my mind that this anniversary was approaching because my sister was preparing to move back to school so I was spending a majority of my time with her and my mom. What caused me to remember the anniversary was that I started thinking about my cousin more than I usually do.

    I always think about her…but this was different. She was at the forefront of my mind when I woke up and thoughts of her were affecting my mood more strongly than usual. It wasn’t until a couple days of this that I remembered the anniversary of her death was approaching.

    I’ve been practicing strengthening my intuition by simply using it more, so intuitively, I felt that she was reaching out to me. Perhaps she wanted some attention or perhaps I subconsciously wanted to actively remember her, or both. So, I decided to start talking to her.

    It may seem a little unusual, it’s a little unusual to talk about it honestly….but it feels right to me.

    I talk to her when I’m driving, which is usually to my girlfriend’s house because I don’t really drive anywhere else. The drive is about an hour, thus it’s a decent amount of time to talk to my cousin about what I’ve been up to, thoughts/feelings that I have, and I also ask her some questions. Sometimes she asks me questions.

    My cousin was like an older sister to me, so allowing myself to communicate with her is…comforting and familiar. I used to call her frequently and she was always there to provide the insight that only an older sister can offer. I don’t have an older sister, in fact, I am the older sister to my sister, so the relationship I had with my cousin was and still is really special.

    Another way that I’ve been remembering and honoring my cousin is by rewatching Freaks and Geeks, which is a show she had told me to watch during my sophomore year of college, and we had talked frequently about it. It’s a perfect show to watch as autumn approaches too.

    At the end of the day, the little things I’ve been doing to remember my cousin are more focused on who she was to me when she was alive on Earth rather than focusing on how devastating it is that she is gone and feeling solemn that she isn’t growing with our family anymore.

    To me, it’s more important to remember the life one had as well as acknowledging their spirit. It reminds me of some of the African spiritual practices I’ve read about in Jambalaya, which I haven’t finished yet but I highly recommend it. So many cultures have traditions for their ancestors…I want to make my own for my cousin as well as my other ancestors. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet but I will let y’all know what I decide to do!

    Please provide me with inspiration! How do you remember and honor your ancestors?

    xx Vic

     

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