A Terribly Dangerous Game

I know I’m not the only human to linger on thoughts that end up either confusing you or having you end up feeling this unsettling uncertainty.

Recently I’ve been playing a very dangerous game. A game that if I’m not careful my thoughts will trigger stronger emotions than what I’m already willing to invest. It’ll trigger feelings of pointless hopes, of unneeded despair, of torturous fears slithering around your throat leaving you gasping for something different – for anything different -, feelings so beautiful that you wish more than life for them to become real even though you know it’s an illusion.

I know I have to stop playing this game with my mind, but I’m finding it harder and harder to stop every time my mind takes a turn back to all those what-ifs.

What if… What if…

There are many benefits and accomplishments with what ifs, I know that, I don’t have to look that far into humanities’ history to see that, but there is a whole other side that we struggle with and we tend to avoid – that we want to and try with all our might to avoid.

This agonizing side of what ifs have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life. We must not, as strong human beings, let this side of our hopes, needs, and despair control us and yet I feel myself more often than not slipping into its increasingly constricting grip. How do we stop our overemotional imagination from blanketing us with such haunting ataxia? Well, I haven’t figured out how yet, but I’ll keep fighting my disillusions the best way I can. Oh, what ifs and the tortures that come with is a game that shouldn’t be trifled with.

A never-ending game!   – ♥AR

An Undiscovered Purpose

Sitting at a Starbucks, a place I don’t usually go to, for a change of scenery as I take sometime to read the book I currently have checked out, I looked out the window. My view is one I usually wouldn’t spare more than a second to, but today I watched all the cars rush and weave through lanes like ants with a purpose. I realized that while my simile may not accurately represent the flow of traffic, we are all people with a purpose. This caused me to reflect on myself, and I wondered what is my purpose on this earth? What are my goals, what should they be, what do I want my life to mean? My lack of answers left me sorely disappointed.

I know what I want, I know what I’m working towards but sometimes I wonder if its worth it, if I should be doing something better – Greater – and if I’ll be dissatisfied in the future, maybe even regret it? The more I wondered, the deeper I retreated into my insecurities and uncertainty. I felt the walls closing in around me. I’m useless, a waste of space with no purpose other than to be lost and stuck. A friend recently said, ” Life’s an adventure and while we know what we like and have goals we strive towards, we may not always know what we’re doing. That’s ok because we’re not always supposed to know, many times we need to take risks and trust ourselves to learn as we go.” Now its true, she lives by what she said completely; she is very much as she calls herself, a wandering soul. While she may have some structure and rules she is very much an “anything goes” type of person. On the other hand, while I may have an excessive amount of wanderlust in me, I really enjoy structure and stability in my life.

I’m very aware that answers don’t always readily show up right in front of you – indeed it would make life much simpler but sometimes its about the journey of self discovery. Everyone has moments of weakness, uncertainties, and insecurities. Through those negative worries we must strive to discover the positives in ourselves. We all have a purpose. I truly believe that. While I may not know what mine is yet, I find that I believe I’ve chosen the right path towards discovering my ultimate purpose. I’ll learn as I go, as does everybody else. I am merely just another lost ant trying to rush and weave its way back to the great anthill we call life and home.

Time will tell. – ♥AR

“A European Winter break”… Project?

There is a certain lifelong dream that I want to accomplish more than any other and it is the dream of traveling all over the world. I find such beauty in going to see places that have such interesting pasts. Every country has its own culture, every city has its own unique importance, every building has its own story. Learning the culture, history, and significance first hand by emerging yourself into it all seems so rewarding and fulfilling. Whether you go alone or with someone, sharing the experiences you went through later on is part of the fun. Granted I grew up traveling always seeing different places than my everyday scene, but this winter I went on my first MAJOR overseas trip without family. My best friend and I decided about a year ago that we needed an escape, and after months of planning, and setting money aside, we were on a plane to Europe the day after christmas.

I have quite a biased love for Europe in general because I’m originally from there, but there are so many countries in this beautiful continent that I had never actually set foot in until about 2-3 months ago. I wrote about my travels and experiences in a moleskin. I wish I had written more than 8 entries but they are all satisfyingly lengthy that I decided I will be posting each entry over time. My reasoning behind this is that telling you all about my trip in one post will become way too long for anyone to take pleasure in reading about it and 8 entries is just enough to not skimp on any important experience or detail as well as being long enough to cover 2 and 1/2  weeks of learning. I figure I’ll modify the boring parts as I post the entries.

Bear with me as I try this little side project, I may be posting other things that are on my mind. Your patience is always appreciated!!

 Travel is Rewarding!!  –   ♥AR

A Small Apology and a Promise

I realize the last post I wrote was about 2 months ago, and honestly I’m quite disappointed in myself because of it. I had planned to write a cute little post about the Holiday season and it turns out that the season ended up munching on every spare minute I had. I felt like I was scrambling through all the christmas shopping, christmas card writing, and my part of the holiday party preparations I was in charge of. The season just kept sneaking my minutes away the way a child usually does when they’re not supposed to have cookies before dinner. This also resulted in my panicked packing for the winter break trip to Europe I was about to embark on with my best friend.

I know I don’t post often enough for this to be dealt like a serious issue but I still personally feel like I owe you – ALL my wonderfully gracious (and patient) readers – an apology. So hopefully with all your graciousness you will accept this small little sorry I’m offering. As part of this apology, I also want to make a promise that I will be communicating with you more often in the near future, and that I won’t ever forget about you and the support I feel from you from just one small read of my blog.

A new year has started and like everyone usually likes to consider a new year as a new fresh start and give themselves New Year resolutions, I shall do the same! I implore that you hold me to these goals of mine because without your help, I won’t go very far. I can already sense it. Hehe My goals for this blog is to have AT LEAST 2 posts a month if not more, as well as actually go out and reach out to my readers even if its to give them a simple thanks for reading. I’m going to make more of a effort to get involved and comment on the posts I read and blogs I follow. Hey it’s only fair, don’t you think?

Well, with this I leave you for now,, but I will be posting about my travels soon (Thought I was going to mention it, and then be mean enough to not tell you about it? Now that’s pretty cruel… even for me. Haha)

Sorry + Happy NY’s!!  –   ♥AR

 

Me? A Yogi? No Way!!

Breathe in 1,2,3,4, Breathe out 1,2,3,4, focus on my breathing, empty my mind, release my stress through every pore. Ahh, I love Savasana (Corpse pose). Here’s the thing though, while many believe that this is all there is to yoga it’s only a small part. Like many others I never really gave yoga a second look after my original dismissal of the practice. I was so wrong about what I believed it to be. The 2 largest misconceptions I had in general was that yoga was just a bunch of easy stretching and some kind of old religious meditation ritual.

My friend told me I HAD to try it and dragged me to a free yoga practice with her and I have to say that I was undoubtedly hooked. I’ve been doing it at least weekly ever since. There is so much yoga can do for the body and peace of mind. Its a great way to release stress and toxins from your body in a relatively non- harmful way, that also helps work on balance (of course), inner core strength, and endurance. There are so many benefits form yoga that links to health, for example relief of joint pains, increased metabolism, stronger heart and lungs, and stronger digestion. Those don’t cover all of it but they are good examples and depending on what you wish to focus on you can choose which kind of yoga to practice. There are so many different kinds of yoga and there is no need to stick to just one and yet at the same time you can practice one version if you want. I became pretty curious and have tried a few; My favorites are vinyasa flow yoga and bikram yoga without all that lovely 120°F heat (the controlled temperature makes a tremendous difference and has benefits but I couldn’t handle it for more than 35 minutes. Hey! It’s a work in progress, ok?!?!)

Yoga is full of misconceptions and I could spend a lifetime debunking all of them but for now I’ll just debunk my own. Yoga is much more than easy stretching, its actually quite challenging making you utilize strength, stamina, and flexibility in practically every pose. Its a great practice because it purposely mixes awareness and concentration with movement in a very gentle meditational manner. Which brings me to my second misconception, yoga does involve old meditative rituals but are no way related to religious practices. I never have been, and don’t believe I ever will be, pushed a religion onto me during any yoga experience. Think of all the Hindu references in yoga more as tradition passed down from teacher to teacher.

Trying out yoga and liking it doesn’t mean you have to change anything about yourself or your lifestyle either. I believe everyone should be dragged to it at least once. Hey, I know its not for everyone but why shut the option down without looking into it? I do it because I found that I genuinely enjoy it, nothing less nothing more. If you want to learn more about it or even find some helpful links, my bestie wrote about yoga as well! So, without further ado, I’ll continue my Savasana (corpse pose). Breathe in 1,2,3,4, Breathe out ,12,3,4…

Totally a Yogi! – ♥ AR

My Favorite Hello, My Hardest Goodbye

Let me start with a confession. My most recent breakup is a big reason why I felt the urge to start a blog in the first place, and I’ve rewritten this post countless times. Usually because I am an emotional writer but a constant devoid proofreader and I don’t appreciate my own choice of words.  But here goes!

It’s hard to think that something that starts out so wonderful can have a tragic ending. Unfortunately life is full of those moments where (for lack of a better word) crappy things happen. Maybe someone breaks your favorite doll, trashes your party, picks a fight with you. Maybe… someone breaks your heart.

Well he broke my heart, or so it felt like it. Our relationship was great, laidback, and fun. We enjoyed each others company, never fought and made each other laugh. Just like that, it was all gone in a blink of an eye. He meets me at Starbucks one night and blindsides me with a big fat breakup and a side of lame excuses why. The news shattered me, I cried for the next 3 days straight, wasn’t able to eat or hold anything down until about a week after. It was about a month and half before my every thought stopped going back to him, whether they were memories, or the curiosity of wondering what he was doing, where he was, or if he was thinking of me at all. I was so confused as to why and how it happened. I couldn’t believe it. Eventually I had to.

In time, we all need to move on because life moves on. The grieving process though is different for everybody and there is no real time limit or “right” way to do it. Its important to take a breath, and let yourself feel all those feelings. It will hurt; all that pain will feel excruciatingly real and terrible, but its okay to cry if you have to. Most of the time its necessary. After a while you’ll feel better, the pain will get better. A support system is great medicine, somebody you can talk, vent, cry to, somebody who will listen and comfort you. If it wasn’t for my friends I’m not sure how well I would have recovered. I am so thankful for the ones who support me everyday through and through. Just like the happy moments, the sad ones are essential to life and growth. This brokenness you feel will only lead to strength. Learn from it, rise above it, make it help empower you. Every relationship is a learning experience, so don’t feel too badly about your mistakes. Everyone makes errors in judgement. Remember even the devil was once an angel like an ex was once the flex behind your smile.

Break-ups are hard. I know. Just breathe, cry, feel, ask for help. Tackle it day by day. Don’t be afraid to contact me if you ever need someone to listen. I’m here for you – with the Band-Aids.

Healing is Strength – ♥ AR

Where do I belong?

For the longest time, my entire childhood in fact, I never really thought I fit anywhere. As a kid, I really struggled not being able to fit into one certain group or “stereotype” completely. I was always too different. I know how strange that sounds now as an adult, having accepted that there is no “one” facet that completely defines me.

I am the Italian child to South American parents growing up in the United states. As a young girl, I was proud of being from a place as beautiful as Italy, but when I would be asked questions I’d never truly know how to answer since I came to the U.S. when I was five and was never really able to retain any solid memory of my Italian toddler years. Growing up I had many cultural differences, among them customs, from my friends. The differences were not just European and American but also Hispanic. I would speak Spanish with family, English with friends and teachers (as well as speaking for my parents), and always watching Italian television with family. Eventually I realized that of all three I would have to grasp and adapt to more American customs since I lived and grew up here; the struggle with this was that my parents were stuck to another culture and took them longer, especially as my sister and I became teenagers with more liberties, to adapt.

In my teenage years, the sense of not fitting in came from the cliché concepts of stereotypes. While I did not fit just one, I wanted to because I wanted and needed (or so I believed), the security of friends and a place to belong. I never just fit in one clique; I hung out with all the emo/punk kids , I used to dance and be a ballerina, I had a bunch of nerdy clubs and get together I would participate in, and I loved yearbook and the friends I had there. Eventually I realized soon enough that it was okay to not be able to fit into one kind of identity. We are all a part of everything, making us all amazingly unique and different and there is such great beauty in  that.

There isn’t one facet that defines or identifies me more than another. I am an Italian woman with Hispanic parents raised in the United States. I am reader, baker, yogi, occasional writer, dancer, swimmer, avid music listener in all genres but country, a Netflix binger, and a collector of Spanish fans and Venetian masks… okay now it’s getting weird but that’s the point. My identity is not easily defined by one facet but way too many and I accept that. My identity is being able to be a well-rounded person with unique characteristics that can’t be tied down into just one stereotype. I am beautiful just the way I am. I am self-acceptance, and my Identity belongs with people (friends) who appreciate that.

What’s your identity? – ♥ AR

Asdfjklgh… Schlump days.

Today is a “Schlump” day. If you were to ask me how I am feeling I would say… very blah, very dull, very bored, very unmotivated, very tired, very lacking, very slothy, very dumb. I’m not all sure its a real word, but defining it as schlumpy, definitely fits my mood.

I woke up this morning already feeling quite exhausted for no particular reason. I knew what my day consisted of and I was not looking forward to any of it. I wanted to just stay in bed all day and somehow skip it, or maybe fast forward it. If only life could be a video where you could jump to the interesting parts… wouldn’t that be great? Actually if I think closely on it not even that seems all that appealing to me today. Everything I had planned today required much more brainpower and motivation than I seemed to have, and yet, I fairly pushed through.

Today is blah, because all the information I’ve been using to write papers seems useless in the long run. Today is dull, because I had nothing but homework planned for today. Today is boring, because I keep getting distracted from distractions; I feel as if nothing will hold my attention long enough for it to be interesting. Today is an unmotivated day, because who else in their right mind wants to sit at a desk and write tedious papers all day? The thought of working toward a successful career and other future stability isn’t even working at this time. Today is very slothy because I just feel like I’m doing everything at turtle pace and I kind of want to sleep. Today is dumb, because I feel that instead of exerting so much intelligence, I just want to sit and dumb down my brain with pointless TV all day. Alas, my day turned out to contain everything opposite of my mood except for maybe exercising. I bet going on a walk would have eliminated some of my schlumpiness.

I’m not really sure what caused my schlumpy day, but I definitely know that dark, gloomy, rainy weather isn’t very helpful – plus my house was freezing.

In a Schlump! 😦   –  AR

*Note: It was such a bad schlump day yesterday that I couldn’t even motivate myself to type and post this. :/

The Case of… FOMO?

Recently another term that has been coined in the early 2000s is picking up tremendous popularity in our ever-changing youth’s vocabulary. In our culture where we are constantly trying to make short word shorter, there is the lovely tool of acronyms. The acronym I’ve heard the most recently is FOMO. FOMO stands for “fear of missing out”. I’m honestly not completely surprised that this term has become so popular when every young person is constantly reading about what their friends are up to on social media and comparing their experiences with other people’s statuses and posts.

Somewhere deep down we all have that small fear of missing out on something important that may be happening in the real world, or on a great opportunity to experience something beneficial. It’s just how life works, how emotions work. It has become much more evident  because of social media, and in my personal life with friends. In fact, this weekend it seemed like I experienced a lot of different reactions to FOMO and while it was quite annoying, it was also a little concerning to realize that not many of us know how to deal with it.

It’s ok to have FOMO, but you need to be careful to not let it get to you. FOMO can lead to irrational thinking of depression where you start to believe you may not be good enough to hang out with, or irrational rude behavior like inviting yourself to certain events or ordering others to invite you. Just remember that you are not the only one who struggles with this fear, and that if it bothers you there are other ways to go about it. I prefer talking about it, talking about my issues and feelings. Why am I feeling this way? Why does it bother me that my best friend went to dinner with her boyfriend’s mother instead of me? Why is the fact that “Betsie” is hanging out with this other group of friends more than our group bugging me? Talk it out with whoever it is that makes you feel left out. I promise you from experience it helps clear the air and it helps you feel better without becoming jealous or holding grudges. Make an effort to go out more often or to invite others more . You will realize that in reality you actually aren’t missing out on much. Instead of feeling left out, feel happy for whomever because it seems like such an accomplishment, and know that one day you’ll have an amazing opportunity if you keep your eyes open. We as a culture, as a generation need to stop selfishly personalizing every issue. We need to feel happy for others and go out and treat ourselves to happy moments whether they are with friends or by ourselves. Remember you have experiences your friends don’t so don’t fear missing out on theirs, they should be fearing about missing out on yours! ;P

After such a serious rant, I thought you would enjoy some comic relief!

Fix your FOMO!  –  AR

A Change of Scenery

I haven’t had much time to really write, read, or enjoy some leisure movie/TV time in the past month. I have been busy packing everything I, and my family, own into boxes for a new house. Now, being for the most part settled into the new house that my parents had constructed from scratch with their preferences, it is nice to take a breather. The moving process caused me to reflect on what the home means and what my old house means to me.

I apologize now for a quite nostalgic entry, but I can’t express how much I am actually missing my old house at this moment. There is honestly nothing bad about this beautiful new house we have relocated to. I find myself slowly growing accustomed to the abundance of new space as well as the new orientation of every room in this house in comparison to my old one. I am enjoying the upstairs more than I expected to. I was walking around the house today and thought to myself that this house made the old house seem much smaller; sitting on the upstairs couch watching TV with my sister, I thought how amazing it would have been to have had this entire upstairs space while growing up. As amazing as it would have been I realize that I am actually very satisfied – proud even – of where I grew up. In today’s standards my childhood home is small and cozy, but I feel that it allowed for some beautiful family time and gave me some rather humble beginnings. I find myself appreciating this new change of scenery much more because of it. Nothing will take away the wonderful and the horrible memories I’ve made in that house. That home represents my childhood, and my growing up to new experiences and responsibilities; it will forever be in my memories and heart.

“Home is where the heart is.” How cliché of me to believe that, but there is a reason why that saying is so popular. It is because it’s true. It doesn’t matter whether we live in a mansion or in a shoe box, if it doesn’t feel like your heart is 100% in it, then it is and always will be just a house. We use the terms house and home interchangeably when in reality they have 2 separate meanings. A house is a structure in which people, most commonly a family, lives in. A home, on the other hand, is a personal place someone fells the safest in, somewhere internally or externally, where a person can let their guard down, and be comfortable to be themselves. A home can be 1 place or many, it can be their house or a friend’s house, it can also be an overall area or city. Personally I find something to feel like home when family is involved. When I visit family out of the country, wherever I’m staying (usually at my grandparents’) feels like home even if I only live there for 1-2 months every 2 years. I haven’t lived anywhere where my family wasn’t involved in yet, but I’m sure it will be an empty and lonely day. KEYWORD: Involved. I will eventually live by myself or with a roommate, but I guarantee my parents and sister will find a way to meddle, and I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way. Home means something different for everybody, and it’s nice to know what it is. Changing ones’ living conditions may be scary and even difficult sometimes but it should always be welcome. We cant stay stuck in the past… or in the same. I welcome this change of scenery and routine for now but I wont forget where I was before and I will still miss that incredibly valuable and priceless house.

Heart is Home.  –   ♥AR