Archive | Inspirational RSS feed for this section

To My Puerto Rico…

17 Oct

san-juan-viajes1

I was born there, never thought I would leave.  I was happy, had all I could ever imagined and more.  An amazing childhood, family, friends, school, college… it seemed like my entire life was there.

Driving from San Juan to Cayey, seeing the mountains and all the lights at night.  The singing of our Coquí, which I dearly miss, and the smell of the ocean when you go through “La Puerta de San Juan”.  The cobble streets in Old San Juan, and it’s picturesque houses.  El Yunque, Lechón en Guavate, Frituras en Luquillo, Café in Yauco, bioluminescent bay in Fajardo, the famous Parque de Bombas in Ponce, and all the placitas in all the cities that host so many fiestas patronales, artisan, and any other festivity we can imagine.

Having fruits and vegetables grow in your own backyard, making me fall in love with all things sour like parcha, acerolas, tamarindos, and of course guayaba is another favorite or mine.  Plantains are a must for so many typical dishes our PR has – tostones, mofongo, pionono and more.

The wonderful beaches surrounding us, filled with palm trees for shade and coconuts for fresh sweet water.  Fresh fish for so many other amazing dishes to enjoy!

Of course the music, we can’t forget.  Our PR is always filled with it, keeping our spirits up and happy.

Puerto Rico is a land of very welcoming people, ones who are proud of their island and eager to show it to its visitors.  We take pride in our history, culture, food, and music.

Yes, I say We.  It’s been almost 20 years since I left the island.  It wasn’t what I had planned, or even imagined happening but life happens and you have to change with it.

At first it was a tough and not welcomed change.  I missed my PR, and everything I had left behind.  I would cry and go back as often as I could but, one gets used to their new “life” and thankfully I adapted to my new “home” but PR always has my heart.

It is true, one takes things for granted.  Living there for so long I would often say “I still have time to go there or do that”, I also started thinking, I rather go somewhere new, before going “back home” again, well maybe I should have not postponed it as much as I did.  Time, as an adult, is limited and the things I wanted to do and see in PR have had to wait.  Even when I go back it’s still not enough time to do it all.

As if time wasn’t limiting me, then Hurricane Maria hit.  This was absolutely painful to watch.  To see my little island being hit unmercifully by this hurricane, knowing family, friends, and everyone else were powerless, it was nerve-racking.  The not knowing after was worse.  No communication with anyone, not knowing the extent of the damage, how people were affected…  I do not wish that to anyone.  Then images started to appear on social media…  The PR I knew and loved so much was no longer there.  Tears formed in my eyes without me even knowing.  A helpless feeling took over me when I saw how devastated our island was left.  These were the images I had seen so many times from other islands and never thought it could happen to us.  The stress of not knowing anything about my family members intensified the pain I felt for PR.  But, I had to keep faith and be hopeful, as every Puerto Rican has been through all this.

Yes, we are down but not defeated.  Our island and it’s people are strong, resilient, hardworking, and eager to get back up.  We all want our PR to be what it was before or even better and show why it’s so rightfully called “Isla del Encanto”.  We all help in any way we can to contribute to that, and not only us enjoy the charm of the island but everyone else that wants to visit and see it for themselves.

Just because I don’t live there anymore does not mean I don’t feel what the island feels.  This is where so many memories, laughs, tears, achievements, dreams, were made in my life.  Puerto Rico is in my heart and will always be my home and I can’t wait to go back and see its splendor again, and its beautiful people.

And to end I leave you with one of my favorite songs (from Fiel a la Vega) that always make me feel nostalgic but always brings a smile to my face.

Advertisements

Actions Speak Louder…

8 Aug

“Actions speak louder than words”

How many times have we heard that?  How many times have we experienced that?  How many times until you believe it?  Until you see it and move on?

People say they want to be in relationships.  That they like a person, that they want to give “this” a chance.  The initial excitement is mutual, you smile, you text, you find events and things in common to see each other.  You get more into a routine and things start slowing down.  You think it’s normal, you still want to give “this” a chance, and you keep going.

You text, and text, and text…

To ask about your day, you text

To say I miss you , you text

To say you feel something’s wrong, you text

To argue, you text.

… people just don’t talk anymore, and that is a huge problem.

Between text and text, there starts to be a disconnect.  You feel like there’s no effort put into “this”, like you are not worth anything else to that person, other than just a text.

Going back to actions…   A text is not one.  Making plans, and following with them is.  Celebrating achievements in someone’s life is.  Saying “we’ll do this together” and actually doing it is.  Saying you’ll be there and show up is.  The thought, contrary to what “they say”, is not what counts.  It’s actually even worse…  you thought about it but didn’t find that person worthy of following through with that thought.

Excuses are thrown left and right, of course, all through text, and “this” just keeps getting harder and harder.  Frustration, doubt, detachment, disillusion…  It’s done, and even though you tried talking it out, it ends up being as it all started, in a text.

It’s sad how our society has gone to something so impersonal to “build” relationships.  Dating apps, chats, texts, FB, no actual human contact.  I feel like sometimes people don’t know how to relate to each other anymore.

Thing is that those social media sites speak very loud about your actions.  While you throw excuses for not being there, social media tells the truth, and show your true actions…  where you were, what you rather be doing, and with whom, etc.  All your excuses and lies, exposed.  The same apps and sites that might have gotten you together, help break you.

Get off that phone!  Talk!  Establish and actual bond between you.  SHOW that you want “this”, don’t just text it.

Let your actions do the talk.  And, equally important, learn to listen to those.

Actions - words

Disconnect to Reconnect

17 Mar

Last year, I decided to take a break from Facebook.  With all the politics posts, people fighting over each other’s believes, negative posts about this and other aspects of life;  People complaining about insignificant things, or getting mad when you miss or not like their posts, I decided to log off and stay away from it all.

I started by logging off, but still notifications would come to my phone.  Turned that off, but since contacts could still see me, and tag me, some thought I was ignoring them, so I went a step further.  I deactivated my account completely.

It’s been about 6 months already.  Yes, at first I missed it a little, mostly knowing about events, but it didn’t take long for me to feel free.

You see, life is not easy…  we all have our problems, challenges, stress, bad days.  If on top of that you add the constant drama of social media, your day just got so much worst.  Yes, some can tune it out, but sometimes you get emotionally involved in the situation, because it’s someone or something you care about, and having a constant reminder every time you log in just takes a toll.

It’s funny, I love social media.  I’m an online junky just like the next person.  With Facebook you get to see pictures, keep in contact with friends and family that are far, share a funny experience, quotes, etc.  And, as much as I enjoy these things, I have always been aware of the downside of it:  oversharing, jealousy, gossip, negative posts, insecurities, etc.  Also, the fact that people rely on this, instead of actually communicating with each other, affects relationships, friendships and humanity.

With me being away, it has made my friends/ family and I communicate more.  Yes, mainly by text or messenger (I didn’t go all the way “old school” to rely on long phone conversations again) but at least is more than a “click of a like” or scrolling through content without really seeing it.

Now we “talk more”, and our conversations are more meaningful because it’s one on one, instead of having to read through everyone else’s comments and meanings.

The other good thing about being off Facebook is that you have more time to do things other than checking your phone every 10 minutes.  You read, watch a movie, go to the gym, without constantly being interrupted by your phone.  Most importantly, you go out and instead of looking at the phone you’re looking at the person in front of you.  You are not obsessed with looking at everyone else’s life but your own.  You focus on you, without looking or comparing to anyone else.  You live not trying to impress people by your posts but by how you live your life.

Don’t get me wrong, I still use Instagram and share pictures there but, for some reason, and I talk by experience, Facebook just takes a lot more time and energy.  An Instagram post is just a picture, you like it, maybe you’ll get just a few comments but content tends to be more positive, lighter, and prettier.

Maybe Facebook is not what consumes most of your (online) time, maybe it’s a game or app, Instagram, Google…  point is, that you might want to disconnect for a while.  Believe me, it’s an easy process.  One that has made me happier and less stressed.  A freedom that I didn’t think I needed, but now know it’s so necessary, and refreshing.

I will be back on Facebook, not sure when yet, every time I think about it I say “one more month off”, but when I do, I have decided to take a hiatus every so often and reconnect with people, nature, life, and most importantly myself.

I encourage you to give it a try.  It’s like a breath of fresh air from the polluted online air.

download

 

“Who were you before they broke your heart”

8 Feb

I came across this quote today “Who were you before they broke your heart”.

That’s an interesting question, I thought…

Fresh after a breakup, it’s really hard to answer it.  The pain, the memories, the “us” does not allow us to be just “you”.  Plus it’s hard because every person you meet, every situation, relationship and experience affects us, and can change us.

So, how do you go back to who you were?  What if you have had your heart broken more than once?   Not only by an ended relationship but, it might be that you didn’t get what you thought was your “dream job”, or you didn’t get into the school you wanted.  Or maybe a friend wasn’t who you thought they were.

What if you never asked yourself that question, after your first one, and allowed things to affect you so much, you think you can’t go back or remember?

Then I started thinking that the question is not necessarily literal.

Yes, I think it’s possible to remind ourselves of who we really were, our true self, but I think the quote means for us to start over.  To see the heartbreak as the end of that chapter, and start a new one.  Maybe even a new book.  To learn to stand up, rebuild up our self-esteem, be hopeful, and look forward, like we did before whatever it was didn’t work out.

“Who were you before they broke your heart”

I bet you were happy and optimistic.  You were making plans, confident, loving life, and fantasizing about the future.  Go back to that.  Find that confidence again, and move on.

A broken heart is the end of a part of your life, but not the end of it entirely.

Find a new story, a new purpose, another thing or someone that makes you want to dive in, and makes you smile again.  Life is full of stories.  Live each one and enjoy it, learn from it.  But don’t end one and give up.

Go ahead, write your life, own it.  No matter how many “Chapter One” we have, I’m sure each one will be well worth it.

chapter-one

Adjust your Attitude

18 Jan

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions.  Have always believed that if you really want to achieve something, or change something, you don’t have to wait for a specific date to do it.  But, this past year, one of my friends sent a “challenge” on our group text.  She asked us to “think of one word that you want to guide you or achieve in 2017”.

I liked the word “guide”, to me it entails thought, consciousness, a process.  To me it’s something you work on and allow it to transform you.  A helpful companion.

I thought a bit and the word “attitude” was the one that came to mind.  The definition of attitude is:  a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.

It’s a constant fight, in a lot of us, to adjust the way we see things.  The way we perceive things is shaped by what we believe.  Sometimes, those believes are based on things we hear, or things we think we know or saw; things that we assume but have no facts of.

Our way of seeing things is also shaped by past experiences.  We allow those things to shape our world, to hold us hostage, in a sense, and are not able to see things in a different light.

This is why I chose this word to guide my new year, “attitude/ perception”.  I want to work on how I see things, how I let them affect me.  Work on understanding that I am the one who allows what hurts me, how long it hurts me, or if I just let it go, and leave it in the past.  Work on seeing things in a positive light, believe that things “happen for you, not to you”.   See that sometimes we allow our thoughts, imagination, or other people’s words/ experiences affect how we see things, but aren’t necessarily true.  That if we allow time to pass, or see things without a biased mind, we could be surprised and see a different outcome.

Sometimes by us closing ourselves, or allowing our “wrong” perception of things dictate our attitude, we miss on opportunities, and just create more misunderstandings, disillusions, and heartaches for ourselves and the ones around us.

I’ve always found writing is a great therapy.  This is one of the methods I’ve employed in the past and started again to help me with my 2017 challenge.

Writing helps you release all those thoughts and feelings.  It allows us to read them at a later time, analyze and better understand what we were going through.  Sometimes even realize that, we might have overreacted, that things weren’t as we thought at the moment, or they can validate what we felt and still feel.

Yes, we need people to talk to, to vent, but I’ve learned that, when we know ourselves, and are true to our feelings, we are our best listener and counsellor.

Make yourself open up, to yourself and life.  Allow yourself to see different sides of a thought, or situation.  Choose to pick the best case scenario, to be positive.

Adjust your attitude to benefit you, to see life in an optimistic light.  You are free to change how you react to things, and keep moving forward towards a happier you.

perception-is-awareness-shaped-by-belief-beliefs-control-perception-rewrite-5917216

New Year’s Resolution 

30 Dec

As we approach the New Year, and all are making resolutions and thinking how to improve themselves, I came across a quote today that immediately spoke to me…

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be better, to welcome change, to move forward, but none of this is possible if we don’t know and are comfortable with ourselves, with who we really are.

We might get lost, in so many different ways, if we are not truly ourselves and those resolutions and improvements are made for others instead of us.

The quote is in Spanish, my native language, translated it says:

“This that you see, is me, no more no less.  A being, a piece of humanity, a handful of laughs, and a bit of crazy, a chunk of sweetness, with all my honesty.  A woman, but sometimes a girl, sometimes space and sometimes infinity, sometimes passion, sometimes freedom.   This is all I have, all I am; it’s not much but it’s everything”

Accept your quirks, your contradictions, your hopes and dreams, everything that makes you unique and who you really are.

Being true to ourselves is what will help us welcome the new year happy and with the right foot forward.

May your resolution be to be happy with yourself!   To make these words your own:   “This that you see is me…  it’s everything”

Friend(ship)

4 Nov

Through life you meet a lot of people.

Some are just acquaintances, some become friend, others, even more than that, they become family.

There’s people who instantly click with you.  Other’s take a little more time to fit in your life but, when they do, they belong there.

Allowing people to get close, allowing yourself to open up to them is a blessing.  It expands your world, your heart, your experiences.

These people can bring a lot of good, new perspectives, laughter, and even more friends into your life.

They can also teach you lessons.

Unfortunately, it can also cause hurt.  The people that come into your life, even if they become really close, not always stay.

Sometimes you click with someone immediately, share things together in a short time, but they change, or they no longer want to be a part of your life, or maybe they don’t know how to be in it.  Maybe you’re not what they expected, or maybe timing or circumstances are just not right.  There can be so many reasons but the result is still the same.  Regardless of how much time you spent with each other, you create an attachment and you miss them when they are no longer there, physically or otherwise.

It’s hard letting go.  It’s hard knowing how to act around them if you keep seeing them.

You try to act normal but you can’t because, yes, at one point you were strangers but, after you share time/ conversations/ feelings/ etc., is hard to go back to “not knowing each other”.  You miss that person that was your friend, you miss the silly texts, the laughs, the person you used to talk to.

It’s sad when this happens.  Some just move one.   Some say “good riddance” and don’t think about it anymore.

Personally, I don’t know if it’s my optimism, or hope in everyone, but I hold on.  Even when I don’t show it, I do.

I keep holding on to the qualities of the person I met, and became my friend (or more than that).  I keep thinking we can find what we had again.

I do believe that if you really care, you make it work.  That giving up on people is like giving up on yourself.  We all deserve second chances.  We all go through things when we are not “ourselves”, or things that make us change.  But our core (usually) always stays the same, and that’s the part I hang on to.

Yes, maybe I hang on for too long, and for more than what some people deserve.

Yes, it hurts when they show (or seems) like they don’t care.

Yes, at that point I think maybe they weren’t worth it, and maybe no one really is.  But I erase that thought off my head and go back to thinking, What if I hadn’t tried?  What if I could have saved that friendship/ relationship?

In my opinion, it’s always better to try again, and again, than to live your life with a “what if”.  Those are hard to shake off.

As is part of life, some of my attempts have not succeeded.  I’ve had to let go of people, and some have walked away from me.

We’ve all had our reasons, but I am glad I tried and don’t regret any moment I spent with each of them.

Still, I will keep fighting for my friends, and to keep them in my life.

Sometimes, if I feel disappointed or let down, it might seem like I’ve given up, but I haven’t.

If I have called you a friend, it’s because you are exactly that, and I hold on dearly to them.

If we’re going (or go) through a rough patch, I will hold on until we can work it out or exhaust all options to do so.

To those who have stuck around through years, laughs and tears  – thank you for being my blessings.

Friendship is something I’ve always been lucky and very grateful to have.  Something I think everyone should have in high regards.

Strengthen those bonds, don’t treat people like their replaceable.  Create connections, invest in them, protect them.

Life is so much better with the people you care in it.

top-friendship-quotes_18049-2