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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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40 years YOUNG

18 Oct

If you are 40, or passed it, I’m sure you’ve been asked the “mandatory” question…  “so, how does it feel?”

I just got to the “4th level” of life, and was just asked that.

Personally, I’ve always been a kid at heart, and my family and friends embrace it and help me stay young despite the years.

Perfect example was the surprise party my family planned for me.

As a true “forever young” celebration, they gave me, my very own Wonderland!

Whoever saw them planning, probably thought this was a kid’s party, but no, this was a 40th birthday, and the most Wonderful one!

Everyone dressed up according to the theme, including me of course.

They had the Queen’s Court with the Flamingo Croquet outside.

As soon as I walked in, I was transported to a magical land.

Butterflies hanging from the ceiling.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea table, with lots of food and the most AMAZING cake!

The Cheshire Cat, of course, was there too.

Drinks, props for photos, and music to dance to.

This was the perfect way to celebrate!  It’s a “place” I always wanted visit, and they created it for me.

They all went along with my inner kid, and I can’t express how happy I am to have them all share it with me.

So to answer the “mandatory” question:  I felt more like a kid than 40.  I feel happy, loved, and blessed.

Yes, my state of mind and heart keep me young, but also my incredible family and friends, who always make me smile.

Thank you all for celebrating my 40 years YOUNG with me, and being part of my life.

Can’t wait to celebrate many moments more with you all.

Remember, Age is just a number…  and it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you age and spend the time in between.

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Acrobats and Aerial Dancers 

3 Oct

A couple of years ago I went to see Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna.  Beautiful show, with a love story in it.

As most of you know, these shows are always filled with acrobats and aerial dancers.  Looking at these people fly and jump, trusting their partners are ready to catch them, made me think about relationships.

I know these people practice day in and day out, and I’m sure they’ve probably  fallen dozens of times, if not more, but they still trust their partners and keep doing these stunts.  

Why is it so hard to do that in a relationship?  Why are we so afraid to trust, to be vulnerable, to open ourselves and jump?

Why with one “fall” we step down and take so long to try again?

While I watched these people “fly” so freely, with a smile on their face, I felt a little envious of that freedom and feeling.

Again, they practice, and their partners reassure them they are ready and reliable…  it takes two to achieve this wonderful trusting relationship.  If one fails everything falls.  In relationships the result  is not a bruise or broken bone but a broken heart, which sometimes takes longer to mend.

I say we work on trusting and being there for our partner.  It’s a give and take, a balance we can achieve together.  Stop being afraid, take the leap, jump!  Hopefully you’re caught in the air and taken on a magical “aerial dance”.