“Coño, pero esta muchacha necesita un despojo!” - My uncle after seeing the thigh-to-ankle leg brace I’m currently sporting after dislocating my knee for the third time.
My life is anything but boring, anything but glamorous. I mean…from time to time it gets good enough to share via Instagram trap, but most of the time I’m going through things that most people will never experience in their lifetime. 90% of the time I don’t call these things upon myself. My explanation for them is usually, “It just…happened…I don’t know.” I can’t really pin point the other 10%, but when I do, I’ll get back to you.
Despojo, which my uncle loudly suggested to me, literally means strip, plunder or seize. In Latin American culture, “un despojo” is a spiritual cleansing or purification of bad energies. It is common for people who practice Santeria and Espiritismo. None of which are practiced in my household, but I remember the matriarchs in my family using the word growing up.
I was freshly four years old. Mr. Bubbles filled the tub as I got bathed by my grandmother and I shared with her that day’s stressors. Nothing crazy - just four year old drama about friends and toys. I’ve always felt everything on a grander spectrum, so I know that I must have been in great despair that day. My grandmother finished my bath, dried me off, dressed me, and took out Agustín Reyes’ Royal Violets cologne. Her beautiful Cuban accent introduced a different kind of despojo that day. “Vamos a despojarte de todo eso! Vas a empezar de nuevo mañana.” She urged me that we were going to cleanse me of everything I was stressed about and I would start fresh the next day. A deep lesson to teach a four year old, but none the less, a useful one. She poured some cologne into her hands and spread it upon my head and body as she normally would, except this time after she did this, she did a throw-it-out-the-window motion. She used the word FUCHILA (foo-chee-lah) to emphasize that whatever we were dispelling was NOT coming back. It was the coolest thing EVER to me at that age. I’m not sure if it was child psychology or something my family really did, but it made me feel better. It still does.
This is an ode to acceptance. I accepted a long time ago that everything happens for a reason. Some people argue with me about the logistics of the phrase, but I truly believe that what is meant for someone will transpire. A bad day, bad week or bad month for me means a need for a despojo of some sort. If the long hot shower and perfume-window-tossing of bad energies doesn’t work, I move on to art, music, yoga, even washing my sheets and cleaning my bedroom. Despojate with anything that makes you feel new and alive. Despojate of toxicities, whether they exist in certain things or people around you. Despojate of anything that makes you compromise your happiness. Despojate, period. I can’t believe I’m [typing] this, but things could always be worse…and if you intend for them to be, things will always get better. So FUCHILA to whatever’s sitting on your chest right now. FUCHILA for a better tomorrow.
Rest in Peace, abuelita. Thank you for the wisdom.
P.S. This is my 100th post. Thank you for all of the support. Means absolutely everything.