I’m Paz and I, like you, cannot be accurately summated onto a page anymore than in a glance. I write in hyperbole, preferably with words, but I sometimes use idiosyncratic symbols and doodles in a troubadour fashion. I also make melodies with notes, edit videos with software, shoot with lenses and illustrate with graphite/ink or vectors/pixels.
If I could sum up what I’ve written so far in just one phrase, it would be this: Two parts comedy, one part tragedy, and one and a half parts nonsense. (I don’t know where the last half part went.)
But if you want to know more about me, there’s a list for you below ’cause I LOVE making lists!
Oh and here’s a portrait my brother drew. He did it in about ten seconds. It’s far more accurate than any self portrait I can ever do, but rightfully so because he’s a far superior visual artist than me.
Five Fun Facts and More Info About the Blog
I was born in the beautiful Colombia right smack in the mid-80s. This Colombia has nothing to do with British Columbia or any other Columbia. Sorry, I had to. You wouldn’t believe how many times people get that mixed up when I tell them. You may only know of Colombia (and I hope that’s not the case) because during the mid-80s the words Colombian cartels, cocaine, crack and war on drugs were in conjunction, and my pretty little motherland probably became a common household name up here in the States. Thank you Nixon! Thank you Reagan (you too Nancy)! Thank you FARC, DEA, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional de la República de Colombia, FBI, CIA, military industrial complex! And thank you Pablo Escobar! You’ve all made Colombia even more famous for her beauty *cough*.
I migrated–or rather was uprooted–to the States in 1990 when I was a few weeks shy of turning five.
I’m undocumented, the only undocumented one left in my family of four. Let me phrase it in the more commonly used, horribly overused misnomer: I’m currently the only “illegal” in my family. Yes, I’m a non-Mexican “illegal” but a hispanic “illegal” nonetheless. Ugh, I hope that’s the last time I’ll be using the term here. Oh, and I’m livin’ in Texas. Yipi ki yay! (By the way, I’m extremely sarcastic, so much so that I even cringe at the things I say.)
I was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Type III (OI) which is more commonly known as Brittle Bone Disease/Lobstein syndrome (I prefer Brittle Bones condition or just brittle bones) and, as a result I’ve broken over a hundred bones and am three feet short. I also use a wheelchair though I do walk a little. So, when I refer to OI in this blog, I’m not saying “hi” in a ska-skankin manner. Oi! Oi! <— That’s skanking.
OI is a rare genetic condition. Anywhere between one in 15,00 to 70,000 births result in a baby with OI. Anyway, the scarcity of OI specialists (virtually none) in Colombia at the time I was a toddler led my dad to a desperate decision: He convinced my mom to leave all of her family behind, he packed our bags, left his photography business behind, flew to the U.S. consul in Bogóta, miraculously was approved for ALL four VISAS and subsequently moved us to Houston, Texas—where the largest medical center in the world is housed—and, where I’ve been living since.
I struggle with “mild” or “soft” manic-depression. However, when it comes to bipolar, “mild” need not be taken lightly. Just trust me for one sec; there’s nothing mild or soft about it.
I was diagnosed with bipolar NOS and then bipolar II in 2008. Since then, other psychiatrists have differed in opinion and slapped me with more or less Dx’s for other affective disorders sometimes compounded with “situational depression” which is a kind way of saying, “yeah, your head’s a little fucked, but part of that adds to the fact that you’ve been drawn some really shitty hands every now and again”. And isn’t that what manic-depression is thought to be already, a genetic predisposition with (possible) environmental triggers?
Mainly though, psychiatrists have just slapped me with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major/clinical depression from what I see. So, who knows how many more acronyms this mind holds. This mind–our minds–are all too complex and subjective to merely slap a DSM label on.
I have a distaste for psychiatry. It’s wobbly science. And I have an even bigger distaste for Big Pharma and its relationship with the APA. I find psychology pretty tasty though.
Update 4/25/2012: I just found out I’d been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) comorbid with major depressive disorder (MDD) by the therapist I’d been seeing for over a year until today. I think this is the most accurate Dx yet. Ha. More acronyms to throw up in the air. Here’s where I wrote about it.
Sometimes, in my most delusional mental states, I actually think I’m an artist. I prefer heartist: lover+artist.
failed musician who’s fallen in love with other failed musicians (not a good combo). I started playing the piano when I was seven or eight, quit when I was ten, started up again my second year of college when I was doing an audio engineering/music production program, but I haven’t seriously played in over two years. I did pick up the ukulele this past summer and am in love again.
I’m addicted to cheese and coffee, among other things. The coffee part isn’t very good for my anxiety though, but it’s a bit of a good thing, especially for depressive hazes.
Ok, so that wasn’t exactly five facts. Got carried away, but hey, they were at least fun right? Somewhat? And at least I kept it under ten if you don’t count the facts within the facts and subtract the quasi facts. Well shit, that’s way more than I initially meant to let you know.
The Melancholically Manic Mouse is the side of me that I find difficult to reveal or even talk about. Ergo one day, I said “fine” to the nagging critter and opened up a WordPress account. I revived the pet name my dad had for me as a child–“mi ratón,” “mi ratoncito,” meaning my “little mouse” –and here I am .
In short, this is the space for that rodent to roam freely. There will be artsy stuff like doodles and mediocre poems (hopefully), but I don’t intend to make this a dedicated art blog. It’s not quite a journal either, I hope not, but I know I can rant. And it’s not completely a humor blog because I’d probably only be funny one out of ten times. It’s not completely a mental health blog either.
BUT, but… You will probably find a collection of crass, self-depreciating jokes and anecdotes/memoirs about my struggles with mental health issues; being the height of a four year old; breaking dozens upon dozens of bones from doing backflips onto my wheelchair and whatnot; living with hearing loss (that’s a new one); being an “activist,” or at least that’s what I hear my comrades call me these days; being the stereotypical “starving artist,” and all the other wonderful
fucked-up-inhumane-bullshit adversities that come with being an undocumented immigrant living (and dying) in the U.S.A.
I don’t wanna take myself too seriously.
And I want avoid too much polemic on this blog because I have other places to write my leftist, radical diatribes and socio-political ideals.
Ah fuck it, I have too many thoughts on issues so take this as a heads up–they will occasionally trickle on here. I’ll do my best to keep it to a minimum even though I’ve been politicized and cannot be stopped!
I’m a work in progress, much like this blog, and hopefully, I’ll be able to uncover something about living and the human condition in the process.
© copyright 2011 Licensed to PAZ through the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. PAZ owns all sketches/doodles, photos and words unless otherwise mentioned.