Growing older, gladly.

Lifestyle

In a recent conversation with my friend who just turned thirty, she was explaining how she feels as she compares herself to younger people around her. We compared our younger teenage bodies to our twenty and now thirty-year-old bodies.

The thing that our culture disregards with changing appearances is the wisdom that comes with it. We know that older people are wiser because they have lived longer but we still dismiss the fact that their perspective is valuable. I got to thinking,

[laughing]: How does wisdom apply to our aging bodies?

First of all, aging doesn’t mean ugly. I think that word has a bad rap. Additionally, we all know that we start aging the minute we’re born practically. We’ve never had perfect bodies. Even as children, some people have diabetes, we catch colds or get cavities. These are all indicators that our bodies are not meant to live forever.

With appearances especially we try to hid this fact. Even if our insides are withering away but think that as long as our skin is clear or our thighs don’t rub, we are succeeding? False.

My friend expressed how nice it was to have a teenage body and how we could eat whatever we wanted to and it didn’t make much difference. Now fat is stored in inconvenient places and it takes more work and intention to eat well or get rid of excess weight.

In order to reconcile the hard facts and believe the best in this reality, I thought, “yes that is true; it does seem like we had an easier time managing our bodies before. But on the other hand, how satisfying it is to now also know our bodies. We have lived with it long enough to know what happens if we don’t get enough sleep, or if we have too much sugar or eat dinner after 8:00pm. In regards to weight and appearances, we have the ability to understand our body shape, what styles looks good, which haircuts we can rock (and which ones we’ll never do again).

Wisdom and age allows us to understand ourselves, our bodies and allows us to relate to others.

 

The truth is when you make a habit of thinking negatively about your flaws, you actually see flaws in other people and then you are stuck in a comparison game where no one wins. But when you make peace with your flaws; by doing your best to self improve or surrendering the things you cant change, then you are able to love and extend compassion to others for their insecurities too.

 

 

If growing older means growing mentally stronger and wiser, then I will gladly sacrifice my vanity for something that is far more valuable. Bring it, 30!

 

Finding Contentment…Again.

Lifestyle, New York

I’m totally worn out and until a few days ago, completely unhappy. For the good things in my life I have fabricated thankfulness for even though I thought I deserved better. I must deserve better — by now! I’ve put in my time working shitty jobs. I’ve been disciplined. I’ve sacrificed. Why isn’t my life perfect yet? Why don’t I have a good/cool job that utilizes more of my strengths and talents? Why don’t I have a boyfriend yet? Why can’t I afford a trip to Paris, the new purse that I need or even a full bag of groceries. I’m 27. Don’t “normal” 27-year-olds have access to these things?

I didn’t say these things out loud but my life and attitude was shouting them. With every book I read, video I watched, Instagram post I ‘liked’ and blog I followed, I realized how desperate I was to be someone else. I even find myself feeling like I wished to have friends who are more well connected, who went dancing, who were just different. It’s amazing I still have some friends left! Lately, with my downtime at work I’d been looking up photographers who’s missions are similar to mine so that I could model my website and IG page after them. I went to stand-up comedy shows and sat there wishing I was onstage – as them. With every seemingly successful individual, I was green with envy, was so jealous and researched endlessly, “how can I be them?”

Wow. How pathetic is that?

After an honest talk from my sister a few days ago, she told me some things that I didn’t want to hear; how selfish and bitter I was towards my life. I hated hearing the reality of my situation because I knew it was true.

I wanted to change and I thought, what would make me happy and thankful again? I think I need to start being content with what I have. For every. little. thing. It’s easy to be content when life feels perfect and you feel like there are no barriers and you can do all the things you think living a full life should be. Or even when you start comparing your life to a time in the past when things seemed, maybe not perfect but at least better then they are now.

Sometimes I wonder, why do I live in New York when I have so much college debt? Shouldn’t I live somewhere else where I could have a better quality of life where things aren’t so expensive? I should come back here when I have money to actually enjoy the city. It’s so unfair. In order to find contentment, I want to believe that were I am is nothing short of a blessing and think, “you know what? I do have debt and the city is expensive, isn’t it a miracle that I’ve been able to live here for almost 2 full years?!

Wow, thank you God!

It’s no mistake that we live where we live. It’s always for our personal growth to go through challenging times. This past year has been challenging but life will always be. Moving forward, I want to be quick to give thanks, quicker to be grateful for everything. I want to give even when it feels like I have nothing and not be so anxious to take.

Birthday.jpgLast year I made a goal list of things that I wanted to accomplish and aside from a full reading list, I accomplished non of my lofty and ambitious goals. That’s not to say one shouldn’t make goal lists, I love lists! But perhaps I should have also been more open to what was in store for me. Maybe I wouldn’t have pushed against it so much and made myself so miserable. I accomplished things and good things happened but it was not what I planned at all. So instead of making a goal list for this year, I simply want to have goals of being grateful, content and to embrace the simple pleasures of life like reading, enjoying the time with friends with no expectations, writing, taking pictures, taking walks, listing to music and just eating the damn cupcake!

Another Beautiful Fall

Lifestyle, New York

Fall is the best. 

Fall Photo.jpgFor some reason, my life seems to start over in the Fall. Not simply to fulfill the cliche of my name and it being “my time of the year” but many fresh starts have seemed to occur around this time.

Currently, I am writing from my new midtown office. Last week was my last week at the coffee shop as evening manager. I’m relieved and excited to say that after over a year, I am a retired barista. I have accomplished that role and it has been fulfilling in many ways. I had hoped to move up even further in the company but a closed door has lead me here.

Perks about starting at this current job is that it is directly above Grand Central which happens to have my favorite coffee shop; Joe coffee. I can walk right up from the subway, grab my morning coffee and then swipe my way into work. Smooth. One thing I’m most excited about having an office job again is being able to blog. Did you notice the date on my last post?! Don’t worry, I don’t know either. But the point is, it’s been a long ass time.

All I wanted for my birthday was to have a new job and the timing was perfect. I’m so happy, relived and am feeling more hopeful about the upcoming changes; for having evenings again, to dress up for work and to have an overall less stressful job. I’m so grateful. Oh, and my friend just ordered me an amazing edible arrangement. Thanks Sammi!!

 

Not What I Expected

Lifestyle, New York

This past year has been a challenge. Sometimes, it is a huge grace that we can’t see too far ahead of us. If I knew what the year would be like last September, I would be very discouraged. Many artistic plans and visions did not come to fruition like I thought. I had hoped to find a mentor in New York, to be published in a magazine, have more paid gigs. In other art forms, I had hoped to dance more or have taken an improv comedy class. Financially, I hoped to paid off my credit card debt, accumulated out of necessity. I’ve done these things but I can count on one hand about how many.

But, the things I can say that I’m thankful for are the people who have stood by me and encouraged me to pursue the things I do have control over. Here are some things that I am grateful to say they happened;

  • For six months, I went sugar free, lost a few pounds and encountered fewer headaches.
  • I achieved my reading goal of two books a month.
  • I took so many photos including a dream trip to Maine, my little sisters wedding and various New York adventures.
  • I filled three journals.
  • I joined a bible study.
  • I attended weddings and parties as an honored guest.

These are not typical New York success stories but who said they had to be? It’s a daily pressure to fight against. The pressure of feeling like I’m not doing enough, networking enough, working hard enough. I’m in a prime location, prime age to live the most successful life. I don’t know what’s next but I am resting in knowing that my plans are not mine, but are according to a higher plan. Nothing is a mistake and all will work out for good.

The most consoling thing for me is that I have beautiful products of time; photos, journals and now a sketchpad I started to document the sights I see.

September-15.jpg

 

 

New to New York?

Lifestyle, New York

City View-1.jpg

After living in the city for just over a year, I’ve looked back at my first months and compiled a list of resources that were helpful to me. As a newcomer in the city, merging your life to the pulse of the city is sometimes hard and frustrating. Here are some resources that turned the challenge of NY living into an amazing adventure!

Living Options 

A personal NYC tour guide (Podcasts)

A New York City Identity

A Night on the Town 

For Self Care: 

Best Mornings

Lifestyle

Waking up to lulling rain, calling me back to sleep. Wanting to listen and ignore it, I wrote Morning Pages anyways. A brunch date awaiting. Muscles to be toned. Hair to wash. A day to live. Held in scarves. An umbrella cover. A breathless pace. Chilled, whisked away, then warm again. Framed by plaza arches; waiting, embracing, laughing. Coffee in large cups, avocados on toast. Memories of home; retrieving, creating. Well-wishes depart; one for NY adventures, one for todays work. This morning; one of many “best mornings.”

Rainy Day-1Rainy Day-2

 

Little Links

Lifestyle, New York

IMG_5452.JPGThis week has been a long one for me. Here are some links keeping me motivated and inspired! Above is a photo I had to share on IG. Soho is my favorite chic places in the city. Can’t wait to bring a friend and go back!

 

Ten Things

Lifestyle, New York, Ten Things

March 10 Things.jpg

  1. Check out This Flow Chart to discover your  next read
  2. Where was This NYC List when I moved here?
  3. 16 Leftover Coffee Uses – totally trying  out coffee jello…
  4. Saving my brain with this gorgeous 75% off planner from Paper Source
  5. This new upbeat find; Arms Length by Kacy Hill
  6. My only binge-watch Netflix show: Love
  7. Halfway through The Martian – Yup, hooked on a Mars book.
  8. Getting ideas for apartment size parties
  9. Dying to try this Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  10. Adding Amor y Amargo to my NYC to-do list

 

Summers Are Special

Lifestyle, New York

The whole apartment smells of summer. I’m feeling so emotionally nostalgic, it’s ridiculous. I could be hormonal but I who cares. I can’t figure it out but I’m convinced it’s because of this baby blue and white sky, the chirping birds and the need for fewer layers. This photo perfectly describes me this morning. Basking in this feeling.

Summer.jpg

Last summer was special. Like to an insane, mind-blowing special. All summer are though, really. I’m coming out of a season, known as winter, that has been really rough. Like you-don’t-know-how-rough-it’s-been-till-you’re-out tough. I think it always is; whether that’s simply the lack of sunlight or in my case, the ungodly early coffeeshop hours, cold, lack of travel (and when I did travel it was to frozen tundra, MN).

Now I work evenings and I think I’m getting into better eating and exercising habits. I just photographed some dear friends proposal which made me dust off the camera. We have a new lovely roommate moving in and I am so thankful for my current roommate, Nora. She is so wonderful. So many positive things but the one thing that overwhelms me today is the hint of spring which quickly escorts summer. And damn, I can’t wait.

Put Into Motion

Lifestyle, New York

Jumping

Right now I am sitting here at my desk, sweating from a 2.3 mile run. It’s 9:07 and I’m a little late for my newly-set daily writing routine. I’ve been struck with the reason of why I run and had to share it immediately. Yes, I run so I can attempt a return to my goal weight/pant size. But why I love and miss physical activity (whether that’s a ass-kicking barre class, heart pumping salsa or a steady run) is because motion encourages or begs more motion. After I run, I don’t want to binge watch Netflix show Love for a second time or raid my cupboards for all the food. Instead, I want to shower and put on makeup because I feel beautiful. I want to write this blogpost because I’m feeling inspired. I want to clean the whole apartment because I have energy and a strong body that can do it! This is why winter is hard. It slows motion. This is why spring is amazing; time for another exhilarating, motion-filled, second chance. Just do it. Something. Today.