I write about my family, politics, feminism, music, books and I *constructively* *complain* (bitch) about a lot of random things. Disclaimer: I like gay people, immigrants and the homeless.
Here is an introduction I wrote in 2012. I may need to update it because I’m sooooo much cooler now. Yeah, ok. Maybe not.
I’m a mother. A wife. A sister. A daughter. A friend. A professional.
Some days, I am very, VERY good at all of these things.
And well, some days, I am not.
Because in playing all these parts where I feel like I have a supporting role to play for everyone else, I have forgotten about many of the other things I wanted to be.
A writer. A singer. An athlete.
(And I always wanted to learn how to do Celtic line dancing, but I can part with that dream for now).
This blog helps me recapture two of the things I love to do that make me me. I will still be the mother, the wife, the sister, etc., but I think I will be a whole lot better at it if I can be true to these things that make me full, give me light and often take my breath away.
In writing about my life through the lens of song-writing and my appreciation for music, I hope to blend two of the greatest passions I have had together.
Music. And cutting past the bullshit with words.
Maybe by fulfilling these core needs for myself, I can be a better mother. A stronger daughter. A better wife.
I grew up in New Jersey in a family that was far from “normal” and an upbringing that left me filled with a great deal of pain and insecurity and grief that I was never very good at dealing with. I come from a passionate family but a family that has a hard time talking about our past. Instead we let the wounds heal at the surface, we pick off the scabs, allow the wound to bleed until we are left with an infection so deep that no amount of salve can fix it.
We wait till we are in critical condition. And sometimes, there is just no getting back to normalcy from there.
But then, what the hell is “normal” anyway?
I can’t change the past, but I can acknowledge it and make sure I don’t do to my children what all the statistics say I am likely to do.
Mess them up. Royally.
In Hindi, one of the most spoken languages in India (Because just to be clear, there is no language called “Indian” or “Hindu”) the word “Masala means a combination of spices, flavors and array of essences. I thought it was an appropriate way to start my blog title since I was raised with a combination of cultures. While I was born and raised in New Jersey, I spent most of my summers in the northern most villages of India. The lives I lead seem starkly juxtaposed against each other in many ways.
Though, to be fair, the state my parents are from in India – Bihar – is kind of like the “New Jersey” of India. Except there are no shores. There is a lack of clean water. Oh and most of the population lives in extreme and utter poverty.
I selected the second part of my name, “Chica” to acknowledge the continuation of cultural diversity in my family’s lives. My husband is half Puerto Rican and half Italian. Somehow, his rich combination of genetics has left him looking like a cross of “Ponch” from Chips and some kind of Bollywood actor (Exhibit A).
While I acknowledge I am not always the perfect mother – the kind I dreamed I would be – these two inspire me every day to smile, to laugh and to count my blessings. Meet Nico and Shaila (Exhibit B).
I have a lot of vices and many faults, but I make sure that my Facebook profile always reflects the best of me. You never know who is looking at it and I want anyone who was mean to me in high school to realize how “perfect” I am. I mean, NOT that I care or anything.
I drink too much, I watch “The Real Housewives” on Bravo and I complain often and passionately. I also give up on myself far too easily. I am a people pleaser who reacts irrationally when I reach my limits.
Just perfect, you see.
I also am just a tad bit hard on myself and want to learn to be more forgiving to the person I am hardest on. My husband would say “It’s about time! Since that person would be me.” (Some days he is right).
But right now I mean myself.
So I tell myself things like this. I am a kick-ass singer. I am a devoted and loyal friend. I don’t allow people to walk all over me, Which makes me the opposite of a doormat.
These are just some of the things I can say make me want to pat myself on my right shoulder. And then of course, my left.
Because it’s important to be balanced.
I have been blogging since 2009. The past year or so I lost myself. Woefully. I could not write. I could not sing.
It was a dark year.
I have made a commitment that there is no point to singing or blogging if I I can’t be honest. And if I can’t be honest, well, there doesn’t seem to be much point in writing – songs or this blog. So I am committed to finding the balance where I can tell my story and share the music that drives me without having my family all cut me off for the next ten years.
Which may just happen. But I am hoping that blood is thicker than the water they are likely to throw at me.
Thank you for sharing my journey with me.
P.S. I really do try to get back to all comments but I get behind sometimes. I read every comment and they all make me happy. I can take the good with the bad, so just bring it!