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Afternoon inside a church in Otavalo.

Afternoon inside a church in Otavalo.

Sometimes I just want to tell people, “go f– yourself.” I know that is not the proper and educated thing to say/think, but sometimes my patience disappears and that old, L.A. Monique comes out and I just don’t want to deal with other people’s doubt/low self-esteem/lack of confidence/hater’s mentality.

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People can sense my happiness & drive to achieve my goals and that causes unbelievable levels of insecurity to pop out in rude comments. And let me tell you, I might have been educated in the public schools/unis of L.A., but I know a putdown when I hear it; I feel shade being thrown on my light (and as the homie Angel say, don’t dim your light for others). So hence, I just want to tell people, “go f– yourself.”

But when these moments come, and unfortunately they have been coming a lot lately, I need to retreat and find that zen element. I went looking for a yoga mat on Sunday, but I didn’t buy one. This hard wooden floor in my bedroom does not provide the ideal yoga environment. So I haven’t done yoga in a month.

Yoga helps me get centered and refocuses on life’s positivity; yoga is a way to balance public/social self with the inner-peaceful person I seek to be.

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I say all of that to say, I thought about this drive to find peace as I stepped inside this church in Otavalo, Ecuador. (I walked around town on my much needed break from grading essays/exams at the cool coffee house on the plaza.) There were only a handful of people there, but I could sense their individual searches for hope/peace/understanding/patience. After taking my photos, I sat on the front pew and thought about the peace I had given away to others for years when I didn’t know how to step back from others’ craziness and stay in my lane that was taking me closer to my dreams/goals/best self ever.

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This week I have been listening to Joel Osteen and other inspirational YouTube videos. I’m trying to remind myself why I am here in Ecuador, how my goals are obtainable, and how others’ failures don’t have to become my barrier to  my success.

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Why can’t I open a cool tea bar/garden? Why can’t my novel be the next great American novel? Why can’t my arrogant student(s) learn to respect me and value my teaching? Why can’t Romeo appear in the middle of nowhere in the Andes mountains of Ecuador? (Lol, I had to throw that one in.)

Life happens and it can happen for me. I just have to go for it. Ganbarou yo!(Japan) Fighting! (Korea) Ojala! Si se puede (Latin America). Just do it! (USA)