me 12

6:23 am #day4

Today is day four of the Oxygen Magazine Fitness Challenge. If you are not familiar with the contest I hope you will follow my story and then if it comes back around again, I hope you enter it. I wish that everyone could be on the journey I am on. These next three months will be a fast track life changer. My time is now. When will yours be?

I have no business worrying about what other people are doing. It’s really none of my business and yet I happen to know a lot of people who could really use some extra love. People who just need a hand, to catch a break that isn’t more breaking. People who are trying to do too much with impossible odds until the world is catching fire- May the odds never be in you favor.

Where have all the heroes gone? Is Bruce Jenner the only real woman left to be brave in the face of an unforgiving world and what should I think of that face when it has been augmented so severely that I wonder if human evolution is plastic?  #Mastercard.  His is not the only face I see that way. My favorite Hollywood stars are becoming melted wax figures while they are still living, until I feel like who I was born as will never make the cut of progress. “Do you think I should get a boob job? What about my nose? What about my neck?”

I feel the exact same way about fitness models. There is one in particular I follow because her body is insane and so far removed from any real human I have ever seen. Paige Hathaway is her name. If you Google her you will know why she was chosen to represent the fitness brand, but I wonder if the fitness brand is really targeting the real that people are? Sometimes I feel like our culture is perpetuating products at the expense of humanity. Maybe I am too cynical, but I know that I still have yet to find anyone that represents what I want to stand for if I were fame. I want to be famous for that reason. I am disappointed in the fads and trends so may people follow.

Should you follow my lead? My answer to that is yes and no. If I were to describe the circumstances of my current condition or the road that came before me I would finish by saying that I would not wish the pain of my tribulations on anyone. I will also tell you everything I have lived through is the reason I will win. Or I will die while I am still living and I have been that person before. How many of you out there have lived the experience of walking as the living dead? Life going through motions of, “What the hell is the point?” How many of you out there are waking up in the ground hogs day of history repeating itself: STUCK.

My journey is not a fitness journey and I could care less about the cover of the magazine, though I will make the cover or be known beyond it. I decided I would win this contest before I even signed up and I also decided that I wouldn’t let Oxygen Magazine make the choice for me. I decided that I would enter the contest at the same time I create my own destiny. I will win because that is what winners do.

My name is Amber Garibay. This blog is dedicated to fitness competitor Kathy Letterman Borsuk of New Jersey. She’s going to win the cover of Oxygen Fitness Magazine because she reminded me of my true self. She wrote to me and said, “It’s understandable to still love him. (Wouldn’t hurt so much if you didn’t.) it’s cliché but time heals wounds. Love yourself first to allow the feelings and emotions to happen. The only way out of it is thru it. And btw, our bdays are one day apart, same year. HUGS!”

I read her kind words, which were among other kind words and I smiled. Kathy is a Capricorn and Capricorns are POWERFUL people. I was immediately impressed. I wrote her to say, “Kathy Letterman Borsuk are you a Capricorn 1977? I am sure that’s what you said and girl that makes me smile. It’s a the best sign at the perfect time. Thank you!”

She wrote back and fed my fire. She encouraged me to remember who I am and why I am here. “Yes I am! DRAGON! (If you go by Chinese astrology too) even got a tattoo to represent. So I know you’re strong and fierce and will rise above it and be a better version of you after you allow yourself time to heal from the pain. We are all here for you.”

My heart leapt and then burst to the explosive color of Chinese lantern. Of course I know I am a dragon. I was born on January 11th, 1977 and yes, I am the year of the dragon AND I am a Capricorn. It’s even more special still. I am not just any dragon. She is not just any dragon. We are FIRE DRAGONS. Let me tell you what that looks like.

The Fire dragon is known by two symbols. FORCE and POWER. I need people to understand that both of those things are opposing to peace. My soul is filled with so much drive that numbing myself became a habit and dumbing myself down became a need. I dropped out of college when I realized that education is bad for the economy of real life, with real debt, and there has to be another way? I decided I would open a business. I chose photography and I didn’t know how to work a camera when I did. I just knew that I have talent and that is was meant to save me. I also know my mind and that it can grow to become anything I believe. There was a time I believed myself to be mentally ill.

Three years back I closed down my photography business and while I did I planned my suicide in reverse.  I gave myself permission to have my own death, but before that I decided to plan the life I was leaving. I gave myself ten years and the goal of making ten million dollars because I decided that I would at least make that much in an entire lifetime. “Maybe you do not really want to die Amber. Maybe you are just bored and not living up to your full potential.”

I asked myself that question amidst a sea of drama and over stimulation. Everything was too much for me at that time in life. I was losing my home, I was losing my business, I was losing my daughter, and so many friends. I was losing my husband and all of his support. I did not ask for any child support and he did nothing to ensure my care,  like he had never cared, and love was wasted.  I had no money. I had no place to go. I crashed my only car and was left with a hoopty as replacement. I wanted to quit more than any future happiness I could foresee for myself. Marriage was my identity. The blue print of my soul was broken and everything I stood for was done. After fourteen years of marriage and seventeen years in love, my best friend wanted to tear out the pages of our notebook. We were not the greatest love that ever was. We were divorcing and I was finished. I wanted to be done. But then what about our daughter?

When I was in college I met a woman who’s mother had killed herself. She told me of what it was like to live life knowing that she was not worth living for. Her own self worth and value were so severely damaged by her mother’s choice that she has spent most of her life strangled by doubt and uncertainty. I thought of her as I contemplated my own death and I thought of a fat man named Randy. They found Randy hanging from the rafters in the garage. She found him actually. The woman he was in love with was the one that discovered his body. He killed himself because after a lifetime of being in love with her she could not feel the same kind of love for him. He was her friend, she was his everything. I decided to love myself more than great expectations. Love is the hope to be loved more and endlessly. Why can’t friendship not be enough when it lasts and romance fails?

Friendship is not enough. I know because I was married to my best friend for most of my adult life and I am in love with my new best friend now. He wants us to be EX’s. He wants us to be friends. I want to become a dragon and burn the city down until love is a sacred promise again, reverent, and worth protecting with honor above all selfishness because this life is not any one person’s. We are connected and when we part there is more than just heartbreak. Souls are severed.

These modern times can not understand why I do not just cast off all that does not pay me the favor of a smile and happiness. “Life is short. Love is fleeting. If he makes you cry someone else will make you smile. Let it go and move on. Be done with it.”

Frivolous. My own soul can not be that frivolous. I would cast myself away on an island of disappointment if I loved the world that way, or him. Men are not meant to be perfect, but I beyond that I wonder if we are the ones to blame for our own heartache. Aren’t we the mothers that raise these little boys into men? How can there be so many heart breakers then?

I have come to realize after all these years that LIFE is the consternation. There can be no fault in love,  just as I should not hold blame, but instead accountability that life was meant to change us, while we remain exactly who we have always been. I am a fire dragon. I know my own power. Today I will win.



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