Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

It takes just one offer, one right place at the right time. You don’t need 200 to choose from, if the one in front of you is the right fit.

It looks like my ex-to-be moved out last night, and I have until the end of the month to find somewhere else and a way forward. I know no one else in this city (Cancun). This isn’t where I moved to for love over a decade ago, this is where we ended up for (his) work.

I am open to suggestions; work online and hang around here until October when I can fly the cats out safer (the heat).
I’d rather relocate if I had something to leave for (work, or housesitting, renovation etc) and somewhere to go; am open to where, and what to do. I’d welcome something new to take my mind off things.
If I can find a way to fly the two furballs that have kept me sane all this time in the cabin.
Thanks to brexit I can’t go back to the place I have friends and contacts, and I’m feeling scared and lost.

I’m sorry if I’m not the most cheerful and person right now. I’ve repeatedly had the rug pulled from underneath for the last two years, going through a divorce, daily anxiety attacks and questioning my own worth. That’s what happens after working for yourself doing anything and everything for a decade
.
But if you give me a chance I can tell you this. I’m not always like this. Just going through the worst time of my life. It won’t last forever. I’d employ me, and befriend me. I’m quiet, reliable, and dependable.
I’m resourceful. I may not look strong right now but hell I am, I’ve survived this far. But there are days when it all feels so overwhelming I go to bed hoping I won’t wake up.
I’m a good listener. I believe in being kind.
I must have some good karma ready to return for all the people I have helped in my life?

6 degrees of separation in this world. It only takes timing, for the right person to register and make a connection. I’m still here; that means I’m not done. Somewhere out there is the right fit and someone looking for someone like me. Is it you or someone you know? 🐾

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/someone-who-has-lived-unconventional-life-heres-informal-rosales/

Discovering friends & surviving loneliness

I am going out on a limb here and being vulnerable so please go easy on me. I see memes with words like the one above making the rounds from time to time, they were much more prominent a decade ago.

This morning I had a dream where I made a new friend just days before leaving here, and that reminded me of how I have on occasion spent 5-6 hours having an amazing conversation with someone, come away feeling elated, only to never hear from them again? (I usually give my contact details, instead of asking for theirs). I thought we got on like a house on fire – how did I get it so completely wrong?

But get this, I want friends. Everyone want friends. If we as a species haven’t learned anything else from this last year, it is that we need each other, and we all want community in some shape or form.

I haven’t made any friends in C’cun, (and it’s not from lack of trying, except these last 18 months I simply have not bothered). There. I said it. The thing I am the most ashamed of having failed at in my life. Why is that? Why is it shameful to move somewhere and fail at making new friends locally?

I realize I am in an extreme situation here, but I want friends, wherever I eventually end up, not just acquaintances or drinking buddies etc. Introvert friends, to do introverted things with.

I’ve never been good at making friends, and now…talk about out of practice. But *I want to know where I’m going wrong*, because everywhere I go – I will be bringing myself, my insecurities etc. It’s been very lonely years here. I don’t want the rest of my life to be too. And my experience simply is not like the meme above, and I want it to be.

I think it is almost impossible for someone who attracts new friends with ease wherever they go to understand what it is like on the other end of the spectrum. And how absolutely excruciating the experience is to feel rejected by the world. You hear about people making friends absolutely everywhere and anywhere so why not me? What am I doing wrong?
Cats and dogs like me so I can’t be all bad?

More of this please.

Andino Andina – the Pod-book


Episode 1 – 4 of Andino Andina is now up in podcast/audiobook format.


I decided to do it this way because it meant I didn’t need to pay for a proofreader, and I really enjoy sound editing.
Free to listen wherever you get your podcasts.

If you have work for me, drop me a pm.

https://ko-fi.com/post/Andino-Andina-episode-1-T6T24MO17

Andino Andina is a spec-fic solar-punk story of what happens when you get the chance you didn’t dare to dream about – and decide to take it? When you decide to trust in the face of fears and doubts?  

Jacqueline – a 30-something cat guardian who is determined to live life her way – is about to find out.  Her life as a freelance translator and animal communicator on the Costa Maya in contemporary Mexico is alright but not particularly exciting. That however is about to change. 

For in a parallel existence there is a place called The Republic of the Andes. Here the South American continent was never devoured and divided by conquerors and developed solar technology centuries ago.  Enter Field Agent Bron who is… no one really knows, but all of a sudden life got a lot more interesting than Jac had ever imagined. If you ever suspected you’re a freak and too sensitive for this world, this is for you. Because somewhere, what you’ve been thinking of as your freak is almost prerequisite…

COPYRIGHT LIZ ROSALES GATOTEPRESS 2014, 2021.

If you are a publisher and would like to read the full manuscript, contact me. Thank you.

It may not be what you think it is…

The festivalling days… 

I’ve thought a lot about this but never shared about it because it felt too personal, embarrassing even, to admit out loud, but here goes.
For me it was never about partying and drinking. It was accidentally finding community when a fickle world turned their back. It was hard and crazy work and it saved my life when I wanted it to end, so I wanted to tell you a little about it.

It was about travelling, camaraderie, constant improvising and flexing your creative muscles. Very little box to think outside.
It was about helping each other out, and looking out for each other.
Wearing more than one hat, feeling useful and being seen as an asset. 
Being part of something bigger than you, and together facilitate an experience for others. 

I loved the nomadic life, where no day ever looked the same; discovering and seeing new things. The feeling of freedom. Meeting random people you felt an immediate affinity with. About going somewhere.

The thrill of driving onto the ferry and knowing you’re on the road again!
Knowing you can deal with whatever life throws at you with what’s in the pockets of your cargo-pants and shoulder-pack, except maybe spiders. 

Seeing new places, and returning to old ones.
Reconnecting with people, who felt like long lost friends. 
Seeing each other again and catching up felt so good.

Falling in love with a velveteen jacket and handmade jewellery, or discovering a new sandwich at a service station for lunch. Discovering world music.
Pizza by a beautiful lake en route somewhere.

Sitting around a campfire, before or after the event, before you break camp and move on to the next destination, and set up once more… 

Be given an improvised dreamcatcher by an old hippie because they heard you had a bad dream (I still have it).
Losing five cigarette lighters in one evening, being given chai by a stranger, and singing old hits with a bunch of strangers in a field… 

Washing your hair in a public toilet somewhere in Copenhagen – or was it Belgium, or France? 
The feeling of being clean with clean hair and clothes after a hot shower when all you’ve had for 5 days is babywipes. 

Listening to your favorite chillout collection of music, driving home through the night, everyone else asleep. Headlights, white lines, and black tar rivers… Too much coffee, cola, and haribo bears, longing for salad, vegetables, sushi, and a hot bath. Then the moon rises to keep you company…
https://youtu.be/9N40ghQ4z0Y Danya – Frederick Rosseau, from The Karma Collection.

Beer or mugs of hot tea around a potbelly stove as the nights got darker and colder and the season is drawing to an end. Until next time…maybe next year…
 https://youtu.be/6SxhzWZrGmg Autumn is here – Craig Armstrong – Weather storm, The Karma Collection.

It was never about drinking, bands, or party-drugs, those aren’t my thing. Those were my least favorite parts. The things I just put up with.

It was some of the best times in my life, but after nine seasons it was time for me to move on. New phase in life. Like now. I have two cats this time, famously neophobic as a species, they want a homebase. So do I.
New friends. A workplace that appreciates me. That stuff.

Photo stolen from https://www.lizcooke.co.uk/ Festival Flags

Warps in the tapestry – The InBetweens

I’m sure I posted about this about a month ago… don’t know what happened to that post?

Anyway, Check out Warps in the Tapestry! – It will be out on the 15th April and you can pre-order now!

What happens when the world we know isn’t quite the world we know? Perhaps there are Warps in the Tapestry…

Includes stories from Jason Allard, Deneen Ansley, Joel Byers, Leslie Conzatti, J.D. Cunegan, Arthur David, C. Scott Davis, Kirsten Ireland, Amanda Lane, Lorna Woulfe, and yours truly.


It is featured on Author Spotlight! https://tammydeschamps.com/author-spotlight-q-a-with-the…/

Teaser from Andino Andina

Just uploaded a no frills pod episode of me reading from #AndinoAndina as a Solstice present. If you follow me, you’ll find out when the episodes start to drop.

Grateful for contributions but absolutely NOT REQUIRED to listen and be kept in the loop. I hope you enjoy it.

https://ko-fi.com/post/Blessed-Solstice-Ko-Fi-lovers-F2F030KVE

What next?

What next?

I can’t sleep, so I get up and go to my office corner. Look around, as if what paper I write this on, and which pen I use will make the slightest difference. Because putting words down on paper makes it more real? Final?

What next?

What do I do now?
Fortified with drinks, the one he swore he wouldn’t, he finally talked last night. Not the conversation you want to have after midnight or even 3am.
I’ve been living with a stranger for some time, but the scale of it finally became clear. The duplicity is staggering. The audacity as well. I. Am. Shocked.
I’ve been a fool, but only because I thought the situation would turn around and improve. I didn’t want to give up. Over the years I thought at some point my love, kindness, and flexibility would “pay off”. Turns out people just take what they can.

When I found out there was no “us”, just before C19 hit, I didn’t know what to do. I still don’t, and damn if I haven’t spent every day and parts of nights when I should have been sleeping searching for a way forward. While at the same time wondering who will survive or if I will become just another statistic.

What next?

I’m here because I have nowhere else to go, and no way of getting there.
I’ve kept us fed and housed out of savings, being frugal and thrifty. Funds are dwindling.
Being forced to spend these months confined at home together have been, at best, awkward.
It never ends with a bang, and this time not even with a whimper.

Last night I finally got to see the belly of the iceberg below the surface. I am angry, but only enough to say, That’s. It. Enough.
There will be no happy ending. No team. No together. I won’t have have your back and you won’t have mine.

What next?

I gave up everything to move here. I truly thought it was forever, not until.
I got nothing of what I had hoped for, but I got the cats.

Two cats I adore that have kept me going. Both former strays who are afraid of people. Milou has been with me since 2011, and Tabita moved in 2015. I can’t imagine them being indoors only, they love going outside. Neither has ever worn a collar or been chipped. The only time Milou has been to the vet was to get fixed. I have no papers about vax, etc. Both cats are pictures of health.
I can’t imagine wrestling harnesses on and dragging them through noisy airports full of strangers, carrying them through scanners, be poked and prodded. I’ve never carried Milou. They are both terrified of thunder. Yowled the entire way in the carrier when we moved house. Milou kept throwing herself at the door repeatedly trying to get out and cut her nose; then refused to come out for hours, scared and raging mad.
Still the sweetest, most protective, being I’ve ever met. Freaked out the time I had to take Tabi to go have her eye looked at (it wasn’t an infection, it was stress induced). They have kept me alive.

What next?

Is there anyone out there who can help a broken person help themselves?
I am open to new possibilities and opportunities to present themselves.

What next?

 

Milou and Tabita watching the rain. Wondering what next.

Crossroads


I want an unrelated job. I can’t do this any more. The time has come to give this wannabe author thing up. I need something I can do even when I’m stressed that will support me and the cats.

I don’t want to do the endless promoting that is self publishing, and I don’t want to make my writing commercial if that means I lose my voice.
I don’t want to spend years refining and editing a manuscript for it to sell 10 copies… For all the anguish, that’s not enough for me.

I’ll never stop writing, I can’t. It’s who I am, but it will be scaled back to contributing to anthologies perhaps. If it happens to fit. I can still blog and shout into the nothingness, pretending that somewhere my words connect with someone, means something, an other nodding to themselves.

When you need to pay an editor and proofreader out of your own pocket to be able to pub, and it costs more than you will ever make…there’s a word for that, or one that can be reclaimed. Vanity publishing. Dreamer.
It’s time to raincheck. There’s no money in it unless you strike it very lucky. Most of us throw our work out there for free in the hope that our labours of love is discovered and enjoyed by readers. That they will add your name to the list of ones to look out for new stories from. Perhaps send you a kind note.

I wonder what else I can do. 12 yrs in Mexico sure has robbed me of all professional self confidence, despite a wealth of experiences, and numerous arrows to my quiver.

But I’m not going to lie, some days I just want to give up. I didn’t come this far for that. I’ve started over so many times and I didn’t expect to, and don’t particularly want to do it again.
I just want somewhere to land softly. Somewhere I’m welcome. Somewhere to heal. To feel safe and where I can – and want to – stay. Make friends. The kind you can watch the sky with, feet touching, like the rabbits in the picture. You know what I mean?

New podcast episode: Music & Dysphoria


A new episode about my love of music and sound, living with body dysphoria, and being enby and asexual in the world. Some salty language. An 18 minute break from current affairs, only available on soundcloud.

Have also remastered earlier episodes, hopefully you’ll notice an improvement in clarity and sound.

https://soundcloud.com/elisse-rosales/music-and-dysphoria

Wanted: new life

It’s not yet 9 am and I’ve already cried. It never ends with a bang, always with a whimper. The kind where you ask yourself repeatedly if you got this right, is overreacting, or making it up? “face facts” as some might call it. Is it over, or is this another hurdle to push through? Unless it is one more serving of cultural differences, this is the end, because from where I’m looking, I’m the only one trying. He’s coasting along.

It’s deceptive, we get on so well. That’s not enough, I suppose. if there’s sex without love, then love without sex is possible too. but that’s not enough for some. everything is negligible if there is sex, it seems. sex outweighs everything else.

For 12 years I’ve been here, supporting, loving, caring, waiting for his kids to grow up so we could go off and do things. I’ve supported financially when not even their mother does.
After February’s bombshell I was still prepared to forgive if not forget. Try and find a way forward, a compromise of some sort. but there has been no efforts made apart from mine, no attempts to regain or rebuild my shattered trust. Again I wonder if it is cultural. I know his brothers have done the same, but in those cases there is mutual offspring providing motivational glue.

Then c19 hit and focus shifted to just stay alive and get through this first. One thing became clear though; we have very little to say to each other any more.
The first five years we talked and talked, longed for more time together. Now we finally got it, like in so many other situations, it was too late. He refused to talk unless drunk – I don’t see the point then because, a) he doesn’t make sense, and b) don’t remember later.
attempting to start even a civil conversation over dinner is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Cagey, monosyllabic replies, often ending in frustrated, not exactly arguments but something smaller, similar.

What hurts the most – beside the lies – is there is no “we” anymore. No little unit of us in the world.
Hoops I braved and dealt with, for as long as there was us, it was worth it. Now I have to remind myself to, if something comes along, to choose what’s best for *me*, because there is no more us.
I feel cheated, sure there’s been growing and experiences I wouldn’t want to trade, but I was so certain this was forever, not until.

I remember, watching the outcome of brexit and being upset and crying, and he said, “what does it matter? you’re not going back there”. and in the middle of everything sad and gloomy, it felt reassuring. Now, it still means I have nowhere to go.

Last night I was trying to form some kind of fictional hope in my mind before sleep; if I could have anything, wake up tomorrow to a new life, what would it look like? and I couldn’t.

Mexico you have drained health and life out of me, bled me of my savings and will to live. When will I receive something else, something new, something I actually want, a way forward and help out of here?


If anyone who made it this far know of *online work*, real leads, like your company is hiring, please drop me a line. I don’t have the energy to chase and jump through a bunch of hoops right now. I’ll consider most things, except sex and violence and coldcalling/selling. Thank you.

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