adventure, blog, goals, life, lifestyle, love, mental health, new beginnings, photography, self love

the “adults” are talking

i’m pretty sure everyone at this point feels like “when this is over” is more of a wish than a reality. when this is over- i’ll spend more time with the people i love. when this is over, i’ll travel more. when this is over, i’ll be better to the people around me. i can’t say i haven’t thought that way too.

i think that if this pandemic has taught me anything- its that not only what i need, but also what i want is very simple.

i guess what im saying is i want something good. at the end of the day, i want good things. isn’t that what everyone wants? i know for every individual thats going to look different- but what i want is simple. i know that life is not all fun and games and like a movie- i would know that firsthand. but i know those simple, but beautiful moments have to exist somewhere in this life. there must be some place for them in my life. they must be coming, right? 

im almost 24 this year and well- handling myself alone hasn’t been easy its remained a practical skill. especially when i havent been able to count on most people in my life for extended amounts of time except a solid few. i think that i always forget that i do deserve certain things. certain things are just human rights i think. im always looking around me and everyone always has one happy thing. a good form of support- kids, a partner, a safe and happy childhood. i dont ever remember what thats like. ive been standing in the rain on my own for a long time. i think thats why i don’t like the rain. everything is pouring down and there’s no way to stop it. it stops whenever it wants to. it doesn’t ask us for permission. yet, we still have to continue with our lives because thats just the way it is. most of us can’t afford to take the liberty of halting our lives when things go wrong. most of the time were forced to keep going not knowing when it’ll stop. thats what adults are supposed to do right? at least no one can notice you’re crying when its already raining.

i think a lot of people around me now don’t know how my life was before. and i guess thats a good thing. because some of them would never even guess. i also think its very important to acknowledge and make peace with the fact that you went through things you weren’t supposed to go through. when people would tell me when i was younger that the purpose of some things was to help me mature it always made me feel a little sick. i know they meant well, but in what world are bad things supposed to make you feel better about yourself? i always asked myself that. i mean- they only make you better if you let them make you better. the difference was i didn’t let them make me bitter. i just never let myself believe any of those things adults would tell me at the time. what a ridiculous thing to say i would think. but i guess now i know what they meant. lately i can’t relate to anything else more than when meredith grey is laying in her bed wide awake before the alarm even rings.

sometimes im wide awake before my alarm even rings. did i finish that thing? how much time do i have left before i go to work? how many things are on my to-do list today? when was that appointment again? when was the last time i called my mom?? can i afford to take a nap today?

yes- all very valid questions. but that just gives you an idea of how overwhelmed my brain is most of the time.

“we’re adults- when did that happen? and how do we make it stop?” – also mer.(someone please stop me from rewatching greys and being heartbroken all over again??)

the truth is- at least i think so, is that being an adult means being tired all the time. there is no turning back. i can’t even drink wine these days without feeling like im dying the next morning. when did that happen? i love wine.

this year of introspection has taught me that this is most like likely how things will always be for me. its time i was at least okay with it. away from new york- or at least before moving up here, i was constantly stuck in situations that made me feel so helpless. like i was in the rain, like i mentioned earlier. and i couldn’t get out of them. as much as I tried.

but i also think that being an adult means that you get to be as happy as you want. as happy as you choose. moving away alone was one of the best things i’ve done for my own health. i no longer have to feel guilty when i am happy. when something good happens. its hard to walk around eggshells. i don’t have to do that anymore. i no longer have to downplay the good things in my life. coming from a place of being stuck in a constant loophole- i felt like my little happy moments were lived on my own. on the rooftop of my old house. in my favorite coffee shop in town. i had to stick up for and be happy for myself- especially when no one was watching. if i told you how i thought things would be right now- you wouldn’t believe it. i don’t even believe that there are things that i once wanted. and i will always be grateful that i didn’t end up with those things. because then i wouldn’t have known what it would be like to share my happy moments with other people. not only keep them to myself- but i actually get to share them with other people. i have a family of people who would do anything to see me happy. whatever that means for me. these days the things that i hope for are different. you would think that just one year wouldn’t change much about someone- but it does- it really does. i even looked different when i first got here. my hair was different, the way i dressed, the way i talked, the way i carried myself. i was so scared of anything going wrong again.

these days- these days i don’t hope for love or relationships or someone bringing me the moon and the stars. these days i just hope to be happy. i just hope to be content. even if contentness means being on my own. that is the way it has always been. i hope by then i learn to embrace it too. to not value my worth by how many people love me. i want my worth to be contingent on not how others love me- but how i choose to live and feel, and breathe, and love. i want my worth to just be something that comes naturally to me- not something i constantly feel like i have to work to deserve. i want to deserve to be worthy. i just want to be worthy. that’s what i hope for myself these days. i want to appreciate the fact the quality of love i have from the few friends that i have is all that matters. i want to remember that whenever i start feeling like everyone will leave again. that is how most of my endings have gone- but now looking back- its not like any of those relationships were very strong to begin with. i think the problem was me. i put in so much love and effort into every single relationship i build with someone that i forget to make sure that the person on the receiving end even wants it. i don’t know if that makes me brave or foolish.

which one am i? i don’t know. and as much as i try- i don’t know. sometimes i feel so anxious over things that make no sense and other times i’m so brave i wish i could record myself. sometimes i’m so brave that when i come home i smile at myself in the mirror. sometimes, just sometimes i feel so brave that i feel like nothing anyone ever says about me will ever matter anymore. i wonder what’s best, you know? do you keep loving people even when you know they will leave? do you wait for the ending and hope for a different outcome or do you leave before you get left? i wish i had the right answer to that. the truth is- at least to me, it always depends on the specific situation. whether you keep trying or not is up to you.

flummoxed. do you know what that means? it means that you don’t know what to do in a given situation.

we number our days and divide them as if we’re trying to go through a checklist instead of making time the precious thing that it is. these days i’ve been calling my mom more, and my grandma- even when it breaks my heart that she doesn’t remember who i am sometimes. these days ive been trying to remember that my parents are just normal people and that they tried their best. just like i was shaped by them, they were shaped by their own parents. i grew up wondering what it would be like to have a normal life. and now sometimes i miss the crazy life i had back home. there were dark moments growing up- more dark then good ones. but the good ones were really good. they were amazing. and they gave me that. my dysfunctional family did. i may be nothing like my parents (or so im told) but i think they’d be proud of the daughter they have. at least i would hope so. communication was never my strong suit with them- which happens to be something i emphasize so much in my current relationships with others. i want to be sure that i’m showing up as much as i can.

these days ive been trying to forget all the things that once bothered me.

i want to live a life that doesn’t make me regret how ive lived up until now. i’ve supported myself through the years and honestly as hard as it was, i’m glad that i did. it would be really hard for me to move anywhere at all had i not known the harsh reality early on. i know what its like to feel like your heart is breaking and still have to put it back together before getting up the next morning. and i dont say it lightly or to feel bad for myself. at this point- i don’t feel bad for myself nor would want any attention for it. i wouldn’t wish any of those things on anyone else. i would rather other people around me realize that they don’t have to go through hardships in order to be understanding people. after all this time- its what i value the most in others: their ability to be compassionate even when they don’t understand fully. i’ve always wanted to live a life that teaches me how others feel. and thats why i surround myself by people who do just that. 

i know what it’s like to not get what you want. time after time after time. thats exactly why i don’t expect much these days. and that might sound pessimistic to some- but to me its one of the most positive things ive ever done. to not expect the kind of effort i put in- from others. we are not all the same and we do not all love the same. we do not all get angry or sad or worried just the same. that would be really boring. i’ve been appreciating looking at the details people give me. and the space and the respect. i tell my friends this a lot- but im so happy with how the past year has turned out. it exceeded a lot of expectations. or i guess lack of expectations. i finally have let my guard down just enough for people to help me. and to help me in ways i’ve never been helped before. i even ask for it now when i need it. slowly my mind had been changing. i don’t even recognize the girl i was one year ago. the person i was then, was someone who would strive to fix every broken thing in her life. friends, family, you name it. i tried to fix and by myself. i wasn’t used to people respecting any boundaries i set. that just didn’t exist in my life. i couldn’t say no without feeling like a horrible person. i couldn’t just let others walk away from me. i even thought my boundaries were just too much for others. 

but now i’ve turned into someone who respects her own boundaries. none of my current friends ever ask for explanations. they respect my space. they respect my life and my decisions. it all makes me feel so at ease. this past year has been free of begging others to respect my space. this past year has been free of friendships that just don’t work out. this past year has been free of me feeling guilty every time i say no. this year had been free of so much stress i didn’t even know i was dealing with. 

having to be an adult is the hardest thing in the world. but it can be the only time in our lives that can bring us the happiest moments of our lives. the scariest ones too. but how would we learn to recognize the great great moments if there isn’t any sad ones. they must come at some point. sometimes, sometimes they come more often than the happy ones.

i know i said i hate the rain- but i hope that one day i don’t. i hope one day it doesn’t make me sad.

maybe on day ill be watching the rain fall through the clouds- and i’ll remember how i felt today. like my world was ending once again- but that day i hope to feel calm. and content. i hope to be smiling at the rain. i hope to be content, and a lot more brave than i am now.

-vi

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adventure, blog, goals, life, lifestyle, love, mental health, new beginnings, new year

a reason to stay.

for as long as I can remember, my life has been about running from everything that scares me. everyone who knows me well, know that i’m a very calculating person when it comes to almost everything. and what i mean by that is i have a daily to-do list and a master to-do list. among many other things i do in an effort to control my life. i do this with mostly everything, except anything i’m scared of. when i tell you i run-i don’t think you’d know how fast.

even when i didn’t realize thats what i was doing. before even really thinking about it, i was getting on an airplane to go live with my best friend for who knows how long, all because i wanted to stop hearing my mom ask me what i was going to do with my life now. at 17- i wasn’t even sure what that meant. what did i want to do? and why? i had always been pretty decisive. but all of the sudden, everything was closing in on me. i spent all this time being this girl who didn’t really mind if people disagreed with what i did or didn’t do. but there i was. at the airport- knowing that 1) i had brought way too much clothes to a tropical place and, 2) that this was the moment i knew, i knew that i was running away. thats where it started, to say the least. if i could pin-point a moment in time, that would be the one. there was so much more to the random choice i had made, but the truth is i was really just running away from my own head. being only 18 the first time i left home- it felt like everything i was looking for. i worked just enough to be okay. i lived with my best friend. i cried whenever i had to. i laughed whenever i felt like it. i went to the beach whenever i wanted to. i knew which secret entrance to go through and would stop by to get falafels at my favorite place. i could spend hours there. i miss that feeling. is there a word that describes the feeling of wanting to freeze a moment in time? thats what life felt like then. i felt like i was my own person for the first time in a long time. i was no longer the girl who felt pressured to decide what i was going to do tomorrow. or even the next day, or even the day after that. in that moment in time, i didn’t feel like all the responsibilities i had been given without asking for them, i felt like they were gone. is that what it feels like to have no problems? that feeling lasted a while. a good while. but reality always hits you like a truck, to say the least. eventually you have to go home. even if its to the most dreadful place on earth. no more days spent on the beach, but instead days spent busy from morning to night. my days were shuffled between 5 am wake up calls for early morning service with friends (bless their hearts), working at a restaurant and going to night school. my days were endless. i remember this like it was yesterday. one day it was almost midnight and i was doing my anatomy homework with tears in my eyes, and i really really wish i was kidding about that. but i’m not. my mom slid a cup of coffee to me. what a depressing time to be me- i thought to myself. ahhhhh little vi had no idea. none whatsoever. this was the easy part, really.

in reality- yes, that was not the hardest part of my life yet. i remember feeling so lost after all of that though. like no matter how much i did, it still wasn’t enough for the people around me. at the end of the day i was just tired and over caffeinated. and found no real reasons to stay in one place. if it wasn’t for the people i love, i’m not sure what would have kept me there for so long. i think maybe i didn’t know myself well enough to know what i was doing. and how living to try to meet others expectations was never going to make me happy. in reality, it wasn’t making me happy. my parents were happy, my friends would tell me i had it together- but on the inside it was the complete opposite. so from that point on- i promised myself that whenever things got bad, i would go somewhere new. somewhere i had never been before. and i can’t say it didn’t help. it did. but there was still some kind of surreal happiness i felt away from all the things that hurt me- and it all quickly faded away as soon as i was flying back home. my reality isn’t what i wanted. i always wondered why it felt so devastating to go back home. now i think it had a lot to do with my perceptions. and all the burdens we associate to one place in general. when in reality, it really is just a town you grew up in. what was hurting me was the way i was perceived. the way that whenever i wanted to be a better person- i was met with humiliation. is that harsh? yes, no? i’m not sure anymore. but to be honest- this isn’t anything i wouldn’t say to someones face. in fact- i don’t think its something i haven’t said before.

anyone who knows me well, knows how much i love taylor. and some of my newfound favorite lyrics of her can describe how i felt in that moment in my life:

“when you are young, they assume you know nothing.”

it was a feeling of wanting to run as fast as i could. nights spent praying asking for not things i wanted, but just to please at least get what i needed if i couldn’t get what i wanted. it was a feeling of craving understanding more than anything else. it was being met with disappointment and humiliation by the people i considered my family and friends- all because i wanted to a be a better person. all because i wanted to be happy. its something i never quite understood. i guess eldest child syndrome is a real thing. but i knew even things that i wasn’t supposed to know. even things i didn’t want to know. its being scared to not be good enough while also striving to be the best version of yourself just so your parents didn’t have to worry about you. if i did everything right- they wouldn’t have to worry. after all, they had so many other things to worry about, they had other children to worry about. if i do nothing to worry anyone, if i never mess up, everyone will be happier. it was this unspoken need to be a poster child. thats what i lived with for years on end. it made me a people pleaser and an approval seeker without even realizing it. its one of those things you can’t control though- i wouldn’t change having my little sisters for the world. they are the most precious things on this planet to me. but sometimes, sometimes i wish i wouldn’t have had to grow up so fast. i would just smile when people would tell me how mature i was for my age- when in reality i was holding it all inside. opinions and all. i was too scared to say the wrong thing. i was too scared to mess up. i had this unspoken promise with myself that i would do everything possible to not make anyone worry. this obviously ended up blending into every other area of my life.

and when i felt like i was an old cardigan, under someone’s bed- you put me on and said i was your favorite.”

there are very counted people i consider close to me in this life. very counted people who have seen me in the worst state of mind i could’ve possibly been in. have you ever met someone and wonder where in the world they’ve been all your life? its as if they were sent to you somehow. as if there was nothing that could’ve prevented you from meeting them.  its when you meet these unexpected people and they turn into unexpected blessings- its then that you realize there’s a glimmer of hope deep inside you. the one that was going away- they help you keep it. its so simple. its so so simple. she understands me even when i feel crazy- is exactly what was going through my mind when i met one of my best friends now. but that is really how it feels when you meet people you have connections with- like you were forgotten and somehow in this lifetime- they found you. and in that moment you can’t help but feel thankful for being able to exist at the same time as them. for sharing some of the best and worst years of life with them. that is what it all comes down to. these are the same people that have seen me go from ‘i can’t live without him’ and ‘i can’t possibly survive this’ to ‘i’m really, actually happy’ and ‘i’m moving away for good.’

even in the middle of a stupid pandemic- my life is really beautiful now. when i was 18, i came to new york for the first time ever. and even back then, i knew this is where i wanted to be someday. i couldn’t quite do it then, as much as i wanted to unpack my bags and stay- i was still too scared. i was still running from so many things, so many i wouldn’t even have been able to number them for you if you asked. i really wish there was enough words to describe how i felt back then. something as monotonous as driving or eating or walking around, or even being sad always felt like it would be better if it was done in new york. i dare to say- its the best place on earth. even now, every time i see and exit sign that says New York City- i freak out a little bit inside. and yes- the rent is astronomical and everything is expensive and sometimes people are mean for no reason and driving through jersey is the worst thing you could possibly imagine.

but there’s one single, but very important thing it does have: it holds a reason to stay. 

the one thing i hadn’t felt in what felt like forever. this place carried so much of me all at once. it finally felt like home. even when bad things would happen. i still wanted to stay. i  think so many random things have gone wrong in the past few months- now would’ve been the perfect time for me to run as fast as i could. but i didn’t. 

for once- i wanted to stay. 

for once- every ounce of me wanted to be here no matter what. the words that i had told myself years ago when i had first come here were essentially true- even if you’re sad, its still a better day here than being sad anywhere else.

“when you’re young you just run, but you come back to what you need.”

now, now i want nothing else but to stay where i am. i want nothing more than to be at my best friends apartment, in our small town with literally one grocery store. i don’t need anything else but this now. we cry, we laugh, we talk about everything that hurts and everything that makes us happy. we all do our own thing while existing in the same space. it would seem like nothing from the outside looking in- but i’ve come to realize that this means everything. i’m not alone anymore. it doesn’t matter what comes next because i have everything i need. all three of us- hugging each other and crying in han’s living room. every time i remember it, i can’t help but think about how grateful i am to be this happy. i forgot that i deserved that.

 “remind yourself that you are not the only person in this world who loves like that. there are people out there that will love you the way you love others. there are people out there who will give you the kind of love you have always given to everyone else. there are human beings in the world who would do anything just to love you, just to keep you in their lives, just to care for you. they exist. believe in that goodness. believe that you are worthy of it.”-bianca sparacino

back when i was around 19, every time i would come home every day i felt like nothing was changing and everything was the same and every day i’d come home and i felt very at the time but there was one thing i would notice very time came home that didn’t change every day. that is the last turn i would take to turn into my street was a stop light so as i was waiting- it was always at 5:30 give or take- there was a flock of birds that would fly across every single day in a formation. and i always thought that was beautiful. that they knew what to do without anyone having to tell them. the sky could be different colors, it could be winter or summer, it could be raining or sunny but they always remained the same. sometimes, as strange as it sounds- i would ask myself if they ever got tired of it? i honestly don’t know if they did (i mean-do birds even have that capacity? probably not) but either way i always thought of that. and honestly- it really kept me going for a while. they would do the same thing every day but wouldn’t complain or just stop doing it one day. it always made me think about how even when i felt stuck, when I felt tired, when i felt like i was doing the same thing every single day and i wasn’t getting anywhere- in reality i was getting somewhere. and that was such a pretty thing. that i was still moving forward, i was still trying very single day even when it felt like i’d never get anywhere.  i guess deep inside of me i felt like i’d never heal

i thought i needed apologies before being able to heal before, but in reality i just needed to apologize to myself for being so hard on myself all the time. for thinking that healing would be linear- i should very well know by now that its not. healing is messy and it takes years. and even when you’ve healed, your body remembers what your mind doesn’t. the anniversaries or landmark dates that used to take space in your head before are now just a random day in september that looks like just like any other day. you go to work or school or its your day off and you don’t know why you feel a pit in your stomach but you do. and then you try to just keep yourself busy all day only to end up sad for absolutely no reason (or so you think).

and then it slips into your mind. today was the day you always dreaded. they day that used to remind you of good things or bad things or things you no longer know how to feel about. so i guess thats what healing really is. you forget. you really really do. you forget what peoples voices sound like, or what they look like when they’re happy (you used to know in a heartbeat right?). or what they look like when they’d wipe the tears off your face. you forget why that type of tea is now your favorite because its just natural to you now. but once in a while it slips into your mind- they showed you that. but it doesn’t hurt anymore. and the thing is- just like healing isn’t linear, forgetting people isn’t either. we can forget or even think we forget everything about them but still, even now-we carry parts of all the people we’ve ever loved in ourselves. so we should be thankful for that.

“but we were something, don’t you think so ?”

and i guess its true- no one in this world ever gets used to being left. but when you think of the bigger picture now- you can see how they led us to where we are now, and all the things we can offer to other people now have bits and pieces of our pasts intertwined with our future. they led us to where we are now. none of us are as unique as we think that we are. we are all made up of all the love we’ve ever been given. and all the pain too. those people were really something. and we were something to them. some of the greatest stories end before we think they will.

but hey- the sun comes up right?

just like flowers, sometimes we wither when the lights come off and we don’t get enough water. but then the sun comes, it always comes out again. and we bloom again, and someone remembers to give us water. or it rains and we get it without expecting it. but we bloom. maybe not as best as we did last time or the first time when none of the troubles of this world had worn us out yet.

but nevertheless- we do grow in the midst of it all. and the sun comes out again. thats something i’ve learned time and again. and something i’ve come to appreciate more than most things. whenever i’ve been in the darkest rooms- the only thing that could sometimes get through to me was knowing that things could get better again. that i would laugh until i cried with my friends again or that i would laugh while crying to them. thats the beauty in between the pain. that we have been created with the capacity to regenerate ourselves time and again. to mend our broken little hearts time after time. i’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how broken your past is, there’s always the most beautiful opportunity that can kind of change everything. you let it make you better. more loving, kind, with more understanding of what others go through.  when we know what its like to smile through hardships- we learn to recognize the same behavior in the people around us.

i’m almost sure that this is the longest post i’ve written so far (leave it to me to analyze my whole life through a new ts album, right?)- but there are really so many things that have left me thinking after being here for almost a year. after deciding to stay time after time when i could just as easily run away. for finding my own reasons to stay after it being a pretty innate quality to me at this point in my 23 years of life to just go when life gets hard. but learning to appreciate things i never really saw before, learning to make it on my own, not pretending anymore. that has been plenty right there. i see myself now and i see someone who didn’t let herself become bitter over the past but instead worked hard to stop running from it.

and to this day- i keep adding things to my list. my list of reasons to stay where i am now.

these days- its been beach days. and stay-cations. and learning to live and to stay and to stay and to stay once again. its learning to to understand that when people say they will stay they do mean it- just because others haven’t meant it in the past doesn’t mean it’ll happen again. these days its the “whatever you need me for’s” and the obvious but unexpected blessings in the form of people. its my best friend teaching me how to take care of my annoying curly hair for the first time. its the deleting your exe’s phone number (its not like you’d actually use it anyway, right? what a drag). its telling myself and repeating to myself that no one in their right minds would actually, willingly give me up like i was nothing. its what everyone who loves me truly around me tells me now. so its about time i start believing that right?

 isn’t that something? almost a year later and i wasn’t sure how this year would exactly pan out- and honestly didn’t envision a pandemic in my near future- but here we are. here i am. seemingly in the most comfortable place i’ve ever been with myself. and although in my head and nostalgia i’d imagined a whole summer in the city, going to concerts and coffee shops, running around brooklyn ( my favorite place ugh)- this summer was okay. it was my first summer in new york, it was different- not as hot as arizona, but just hot enough to feel like a real summer.

this morning i walked out and it felt like fall. and i had never felt that in august. and it felt nice. it felt hopeful. it felt like introspection. like when everything connects and comes full circle without you asking it to.

here’s to another new york year. here’s to another year of discovering what violet is really capable of. hopefully much more happiness, i hope she gets that, i really really do. i hope she doesn’t give up on what she knows she needs and wants. and i hope the next year brings her more of that. 

-vi

 

 

 

 

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adventure, blog, goals, life, love, mental health, new beginnings, rooftop, self love

april showers

“perhaps the names we cherish in our hearts are like our diaries, journals, and precious records of our lives.

 

-tune in for love (movie)

i’ve been thinking a lot about what i want to write, how  i want it to feel. over the past few months, a lot of things for all of us have changed, in the matter of a few days. now we probably have time to think, maybe too much time to think. i guess for me, i’ve had more time to write. i guess that always helps me explain the way  i feel. so let me start with this.

 

have you ever been somewhere and you just want to remember it so clearly? i think these moments are counted. when you’re not worried about the way you look or how you think your smile is not pretty enough. when you can feel the happiness in your chest. like it couldn’t wait to come out? like you want to capture the feeing and keep it for whenever you feel like you can’t go on? thats what i want to be for other people.thats what i’ve been thinking of lately. i want to be someone they can come home to. someone who’s door they can show up at crying or beaming with happiness. someone that other people have been to me. a little pocket of happiness on your saddest days. thats what i want to be. 

i guess i forgot how much i love to write.  i randomly find myself writing things down in the middle of the day or when i wake up early or when i can’t sleep (you should see my desk). and  i guess i really missed that feeling. ever since  i moved here- i have been different. i know that now. and i don’t say this often about myself- but i am so proud. in my earlier years- the situation that were living in would have probably thrown me into a spiral. sitting alone with my overthinking capabilities is not something that would’ve, how can i say this? it wouldn’t have been something good in my life. and i’m definitely not saying this situation is ideal. i miss my people and  i miss mindlessly doing things  i never thought would be taken away. but in the middle of all of this chaos- i realized that i can now deal with it. and at one point i couldn’t handle a lot of things. i guess some of it is valuing my worth. the other bit of it all these random systems i unknowingly built for myself.  i hardly ever let myself get to the point of breaking down anymore. my body knows what to do. 

it usually goes this way, more or less. i wake up and feel like its all catching up. i make myself eat, drink a lot of water. sometimes i go on really long walks and listen to fix you by coldplay and sometimes that does the trick. now, when i’m so tired and i really can’t sleep, i remember that ill only feel that way tonight. that its not temporary. looking at the sky always helps. i remember at my old house, I would go up to the roof at night when i couldn’t sleep. i’d stay there for hours. that place brings me back to a lot of things. like accepting the possibility of being alone. finding good people even when you thought you were done for. forgiving people doesn’t mean you like what they did. differentiating a change of heart and not caring. the difference between loving and embracing change vs just accepting it. asking myself if i would ever be okay? and will it be okay if i never am?

going up to the roof is the only thing that made me feel better for a whole year. all because of someone who was never worth it to begin with. but it taught me that not many things can still be a problem after looking at the sky for a while. it taught me the value of remembering what i did have. even in the most painful moments of my life. i had so many good things. and i started writing again. i actually started writing again through a really hard time in my life. i felt as if i could let go of all my emotions once i put them into words.

is this what moving on feels like? is this what growing up feels like?

this is what that feels like. like a dumb indie movie. you always know how it ends but you watch it anyways. thats how it feels like to watch myself live now. thats how it feels at the end of the movies when the main character is dancing at the beach alone, or taking a drive with her friends with the best song in the background. preferably to come on eileen (if you know where that’s from, i love you). 

it sounds ridiculously cheesy to say that at a time like this. at a time where i’m not even sure what the next few months will bring. i would usually feel guilty. but i don’t. i have bad days just like everyone else. but if I told you what my bad days looked like years ago, you would understand if i chose the bad days now. it gets better. thats what i was telling my sister today. it gets better. you can get through crappy friends. you can get through a hard time at home. you can get through being looked down on just because you’re not the same as everyone else. you can go through all of that and still have a soft heart. you can get through all of that if you never lose the sense of who you are. if you never lose hope even when you’re about to. every time i felt hopeless through the years (and unfortunately didn’t have harry styles new music) i would ask myself, vi…what if things DO get better? what if you DO find good people? what if you DO get over that boy? what if you DO get to be happy? what if you just hold out a little while longer and you DO get what you need. what if you just keep that small thread of hope and you get what you’ve been praying for? 

and i guess what i’m saying is that you get there. its never ever easy. it definitely wasn’t for me. there are things that will affect and have shaped me for the rest of my life. no matter how much i try for them not to. and to accept. to reallllly really accept that you went through that and process it is harder than it looks. some people will never know what thats like. but i can almost always tell now when someone has really been through it. its the kindest, most loving people in my life who have been through the worst of the messy waters that there’s been. the people who have probably shed more tears than anyone else i know. but i like to think those people exist to show you the way out. to show you that there will be those few people who won’t run away. who will climb into the dark side with you and walk with you until you’re strong enough to handle it on your own. and they can do it because they’ve already walked through it. 

trust that you are growing, even in the dark. 

trust that you are healing, even in the quiet.

-bianca sparacino

 

even in the dark, and even in the quiet times, we are continuously growing. 

and you see, all my life. my whole life, my whole identity revolved around trying not to be the odd one out. in my family i always was. even in my group of friends back home. i never knew if people knew what they were doing, but i would be lying if i said it didn’t affect me. i would be lying if i said i didn’t question myself all the time growing up. something a teenage girl shouldn’t have to do. why are you so quiet? you might end up alone. why are you not going out? why do you read so much? why why why. and more. years of peer pressure and feeling insufficient. most of my time growing up was spent alone for this reason. and lately i’ve been asking myself, violet what would you tell yourself then? 

i would tell my 12 year old self that 10 years from now, her life would be good. i would tell her to keep holding on. just like she always has. just like dad always tells you. to always, always be strong. even when things get scary. even when you’re not sure if you should speak up. even when you’re not sure if you should do the right thing. even when you’re scared, you have to be strong. and things will be better. you’ll never believe you worked up the nerve to start a blog. oh, and you went to europe with your best friend. and you loved someone who broke your heart, but you also came out of that okay. you survived things at home, and in life, and in love. and you made it out. 

it has taken me 22 years to learn to love myself. to accept the imperfect person i am. i realized i never gave myself room for mistakes. so whenever things went wrong, which was constantly, it was hard to not take it to heart. i now find myself laughing when things go wrong. i don’t even ask people for reasons anymore when they apologize. because it doesn’t matter anymore. i don’t flinch anymore when i hear certain names. not even on the inside. i don’t stutter when i talk about my past anymore. i don’t feel like i’m drowning anymore. and it would be really ridiculous to just let anyone undo all that work, right?

 i think i’ve said this to a couple of my close friends when they ask me what its like. what its like to feel happy now. and i can only describe it as this: i had this idea of who i was growing up, but it all felt like a fantasy because i was never seen that way. and now i am. it feels like coming home my own self. i just thought of that, and i like the way it sounds. and i love the way it feels. i thought it was just me at first, but then i started asking the people around me what they thought of me. what my strengths and weaknesses were, what they valued in me as a person. and i almost always got this as the answer: you are introverted, but we know that when you love someone, you really love them. its deep. and i love that. i love that more than words can express. and the best part, is that they are okay with everything i am. i never feel like i have to change my values or my words or pretty much anything about myself. i never have to worry about being embarrassed or uncomfortable. i never have to worry about being too much or too little. this is it. this is the biggest leap of faith i have ever taken. and to think the this would be the outcome. i can’t stop smiling while writing this. this is probably one of the happiest posts i’ve written in a long time. it feels good.

 i wrote a while back, about seasons and how things are always changing in our lives. and to be completely honest, back then i felt as if my world might end if the next season was worse than whatever one i was in. but now i’m not worried, now i look forward to the new things. and maybe things can get bad again, i won’t know that until i’m there. but i’m not scared anymore. i took the biggest leap to be where i am. so a lot of things don’t feel as scary as they did before. i used to pray a lot about getting what i needed even if it wasn’t what i wanted. and now i have more than i would have ever needed in this life. surely more than i deserve. 

i feel as if all those times spent telling myself to hold on have turned me into the kind of person who works for what she wants. the girl who used to cry before class or work, kept crying sometimes (realistically) but she also pulled it together and went inside anyways. i’m not afraid of telling people how i feel anymore. i’m not scared of telling people i love them anymore. of letting them in. because a lot of things can change. most things in this life are so temporary that its hard to keep up. but what’s not going to change is the memories. so i want to strive to do the most with what i have, because its all i have right now. so go the extra mile. sometimes your friends aren’t okay, sometimes they don’t act like themselves but wouldn’t you want your people to love you anyways. to love you especially when you feel like you’re hard to love. thats what i wanted my whole life. so now its what i’ve turned into. and i get that wearing your heart on your sleeve isn’t everyones jam. but its definitely mines. and i love it. i want to look back years from now and know that i did everything, everything for the people i’ve loved. i don’t want anyone to have bad memories of me. and i know thats completely impossible. someone out there is bound to have a bad memory of me. but i really want to try my hardest. i really really do. 

 

 

 

they will be precious records in my life. and in other peoples lives too. and that’s all i need now. i’ve been through what i hope was the worst part of my life. and i understand that things won’t all be good just because i like myself now. but i’m at least hoping that the good records, the good people that have come in and out of my life will hold me over if things happen again. truth is, i never expect things not to get bad. but i always see it as an opportunity to do better now. to be better. to be closer to yourself. because fortunately and unfortunately the trials are what shape us into who we are. and isn’t that something? 

i thought my life would like a lot different than it does right now. if you asked me, i would’ve chosen something else at the time, to be painfully honest. but i can only be happy to know this is how things worked out. right now, right now i’m happy that all the april showers happened. they seemed continuous. like they were never going to stop. i never lived in a place that made me think of that saying, but now i do. and it hasn’t stopped raining.

but much like my life the last few years, i knew the rain would stop. i didn’t know how long it would take, but i knew if i did i would witness something beautiful.

and the flowers will bloom. and it will be beautiful. it might not be everything you imagined. because who wants to be rained on so much? but the sun does come out, i promise you it does. if you’re looking for a sign this it it. it’ll be okay. you always had it in you. 

finding yourself is actually returning to yourself.
an unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.
– emily mcdowell

 

 

love, vi.

 

 

 

 

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adventure, blog, goals, life, new beginnings, photography, self love, travel, Uncategorized

flowers and forgiveness

and find the place where every single thing you see ,

tells you to stay.

-seeker

so this is what happens when you haven’t blogged in a long time and you don’t know how to start.

(fyi- im writing this as i think about the process of moving away and what the last 3 months have taught me)

so lets start from the beginning. my name is Violet and i haven’t written in a while so i hope this makes sense.

in exactly 47 days i leave my hometown for what seems to be indefinitely.

these past 6 months for me have been such a whirlwind. such an up and down slope sometimes i forget to stop and breathe. i think these have been the busiest 6 months of my life.

but i’m happy. i think. i hope. i aspire to be.

every day.

there has been one thing that hasn’t slipped from my mind lately and its so overwhelming its changed, absolutely everything for me.

its the seasons. the seasons of life. the seasons that we live in. the seasons that just pass us by and we don’t notice they’re gone until they are then you can’t get them back. like for example, i see my dad and my little sister sitting on the couch reading and it’s something so normal you wouldn’t even think of it but the other day i saw them and cried inside a little. because one day a long time ago, that was me. and not only that- but i soon won’t see that anymore. soon that season too, will pass. there’s the drive that i have taken home for more than 2 years that soon won’t be the same. and the way the sun sets after a big monsoon storm. and the park in front of my house that i always go to when im sad and i need to think.

i seem to have forgotten over the years that these things one day will be different. and one day is so close now.

there was a season of my life years ago where i thought i could live without anyone- definitely not in the mean way you would think but more in the way that i felt self sufficient. but i was also 18.

there’s the season where i was in love, so in love i thought i was floating. i thought pain and love were interchangeable.

theres the season where i couldn’t think of peppermints or empanadas without crying.

and theres the season where i thought i couldn’t live without someone, and here i am- living without him.

there’s the weird season that i don’t remember. when i couldn’t wake up ever and i blocked everything out.

the season where i would listen to joan sebastian in the car with my dad all the time. i attribute my love to him to the fact that my mom went to his concert when she was pregnant.

there’s the season that im living in now where i am trying to hold onto every last bit of memory i have of my home. my sisters laugh. the drive that i’ve taken home for the past 3 years. the sunsets. one of my best friends being pregnant with her first child. i can’t wait to meet dear little clara. and i don’t want to miss a single moment. but i also feel like i can no longer stay where i’ve always been.

theres the season when strangers turned into friends and then turned into strangers again. and that it can be quite terrifying to not have someone anymore and live in a world without them. to live in a world without hearing their voice again. to live in a world with no rooftop dates. yet this is the first time i’ve been able to accept it without any repercussions.

i think life will always bring you back to the ones you belong with. no time or measure can change that love.

theres the season i don’t want to remember because quite frankly- i’m not that person anymore nor do i want to be.

theres the one where i decided to move across the country and not tell anyone. because now is as good time as any.

and then theres the season where i would spend days on the roof with my best friend crying and wondering if we were ever going to get out of it not knowing that that was a season in itself. that the brokenheartedness was only a season. that it had a time frame.

and those are strangely some of the days i miss most. my rooftop days don’t often come around anymore.

and i guess what im trying to say is that seasons come and they go. and we have to accept that right now- in this moment we, me, you are living in a season that will soon be over and another one will start.

i’ve always been scared of new beginnings, of starting over. of no one knowing my name. of not knowing who i am. of never being in love again. of no one ever loving me the way i deserve. i guess a lot of my fears are based around love because that’s where i’ve been hurt the most. but right now- in this somehow fleeting moment of security and confidence i am so ecstatic and ready for my new beginning. and i’m confident all those things will come.

and after this years convention- i am so confident that real love, true love, it never fails. in whatever form that may be.

and for those of you who have been here since 2016 know that a lot of my posts have revolved around dealing with hard situations, forgiveness, emotional wellbeing and so on.

although i was writing all of that, and i still wholeheartedly agree, at times i knew that there was still so much inner work to be done within myself to get to where i wanted to be.

to get to the flowers. to get to the forgiveness.

the flowers- the flowers are the blooming moments. this is the year for blooming. you and i have grown a lot. its time for these flowers to be as beautiful as our Creator meant for them to be.

did you know flowers can be dormant for a long time? they can be. but that doesnt mean they were never flowers to begin with.

you and i have always been flowers. you are beautiful. you are kind, i am kind. i can be. i will be.

it sounds cliché, maybe. but these are words we often forget to tell ourselves. i am so exhausted of thinking so lowly of myself, when i keep myself afloat and thats so much more than i ever give myself credit for.

i want to be kind to myself. because negative thinking patterns are hard to reverse but it can be done. there will be fall throughs- but if i’ve done it so many times before. i can do it again. and again, and again until its over. until all i can think of is how great my day was.

of how blessed i am to be living this life.

and there’s the forgiveness.

to yourself. to the you, to the me, that woke up this morning and immediately had a headache thinking about all the responsibilities. and those are just for today. to the me who is not happy all the time, but nevertheless she is trying.

earlier this year i wrote a list of all the things i wanted to learn to do this year. goals i was setting for myself. things i wanted to work on. dreams i strived to accomplish. one of them said “find the love of my life”. and looking back i don’t know what i meant at the time but i know what it means now. i don’t know if i was talking about another person, another kind of life, another mindset.

but now. now i see it. i was always the love of my life. if i could not begin to love myself, how would i go through this life like that? hating every piece? i couldnt, i can’t continue doing that.

thats not to say you can’t love other people if you don’t love yourself. because i’ve done it so many times before. and i like to think i always strive to put others ahead of me, because i love them. because it makes me who i am. and ive done so even when i didn’t love myself.

and although im not perfect or even close to liking myself as much as id like to, im much closer than i was.

and right now, as im laying in bed and all i can see is the ceiling spinning because today has been one of the days i cant get out of my own head- i remember something my sister has always told me. even if this is the worst possible day you could imagine it being- you never have to live through it again. you don’t have to go through it again. and oh how im going to miss her. i always keep those words very close to me.

if i lived through this not once, twice, but many times and i picked myself up. how wonderful. how serene. how gratifying it is to know i am capable of picking myself up and trying again.

i like to think of how proud 11 year old me would be. that i persisted. that im doing what i dreamed even if its terrifying. and im proud of her too. because she’s still the girl who loves to read. who loves spending time alone and who is so environmentally aware it’s actually a little funny. the one who takes pictures with her film camera of her favorite moments before they fly away. im still the little girl who won the spelling bee and spent my target gift card on yet more books. the hopeless romantic. the arizonian at heart who has cowgirl boots (what will i do with these in new york?)

im still her. looking up at the stars. contemplating all the possibilities. but remembering she cant choose them all.

as i pack up all my things in boxes, and along with that all the memories of the 22 years of life i have created for myself i am certain of only one thing between all the unknowns-

that i will be okay. that i will survive. that i will be happy.

i. will. be. okay.

that i will always have the flowers and the forgiveness. thats its time to forgive myself.

its time to love without bounds in between. to take a walk in my new neighborhood and wonder how i got here, but smile at every. single. part of it.

how its only once in a lifetime that your best friend decides to help you drive across the country to help you accomplish your hopes and dreams.

to serve the one who has given me everything without bounds. and how He has given me this opportunity and has guided every step of the way. what a loving Father and God i so undeservedly have.

to be so thankful, extremely just thankful that you have what you once prayed for. and the thing is- Jehovah knows exactly when the right moment is to answer our prayers. sometimes its right around the corner. sometimes it takes years. but when you get the answer- you KNOW. you feel it in your bones, in the innermost corners if your being- you know. its a beautiful thing when you ask for something for so long and now you realize why you didn’t get it. because it wasn’t good for you. and when its something thats so clearly for you- you will see the answers right in front of you. its something only you know, something you have to go through to see it happen, to see it change your entire life.

and i cannot believe this is my life.

and just drove across the country and packed all my things in my little subaru. and we went to chicago and a million other places and theres pictures and videos that one day i will show to my husband (lol) and possibly my children and i want to tell them how happy this made me. how even though i was scared i went for it and the circumstances weren’t perfect and i got about 10 anxiety attacks in between but i made it. i made it. im here.

and im going grocery shopping in a little bit. and somehow that calms me down.

im sitting here in the place i fell in love with when i was only 18 years old. its real, im here.

im sitting on the floor of this empty room wondering how i got here. the possibilities are endless. and im not just talking about paint.

im talking about life. its time to be brave. to face this head on. i just want to see myself be brave.

and i have never felt closer.

it really is the blooming season.

but darling, you are a river.

the rocks will break you.

the valleys will bend you.

but you will never stop.

because that is what you do.

you flow.

– vinati

and with that being said. i hope everyone who reads this knows that they can be brave too.

healing never comes from a place of comfort, it comes from a place of growth and accountability.

remember that breaking up with your past and running towards your future is never easy. the growing pains are real.

gift yourself flowers.

shower yourself with forgiveness.

never in my wildest dreams did i think i would get here today.

yet here i am- with a brand new mind in an old but new place. an old and new dream come true. the place that makes my heart beat.

-vi.

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adventure, blog, goals, life, mental health, new year, photography, self love, travel

24 things i learned in 2018

its been three incredible, growth-filled years since i started blogging.

three years. i know it may not seem like much but the amount of messages (deep, heartfelt messages) i’ve gotten thanking me for being able to explain how they feel- is just amazing to me. i started this for myself. because there were words i needed to say to people or situations that didn’t want to hear it- but i needed to tell somebody. anybody.

and thats how this started. and oh, how much i’ve grown. i don’t even recognize the girl who wrote the first “24 things i learned in 2016” post. its not me anymore. its much better. and looking back and reading those words i can accept what i felt gracefully and look back with only a thankful heart because apart from all the coming-of-age, heartbreak, 20 year old stuff, they helped me. the words helped me. the messages helped me. i remember one specific blog post i wrote last year about letting go, a friend of mine who doesn’t live here sent me the sweetest message. i remember she said she felt like she couldn’t find the words for what she felt for so long but she finally found them in my words. and i thought, me? what i wrote? my experiences actually helped someone?

yes. yes they did. and that in turn helped me heal in tremendous ways. from not knowing who in the world i was and feeling like i was not in my body at times, like it was not me. up until a few months ago i felt myself healing, finally growing, finally seeing what was so evidently coming next. how Jehovah was going to help me as long as i trusted in Him fully. and now i see it so clearly. i see exactly what i want. i see exactly where i want to be a year from now when i used to not even know what was coming tomorrow. from barely surviving to actually fully living.

so i want to thank every single person who read these posts over the past three years. who reached out and told me how much they helped and how much they relate. i truly love all of you guys. i’ve made friendships out of this blog. wonderful ones to say the least. i’ve become so vulnerable and talked about things that not everyone has the nerve to say, or accept. and i used to be scared but now i get questions and more questions and im so excited for life. i have never been this excited for life. like ever. and i used to think i couldn’t feel this way. obviously everyone has the bad days but i feel myself again. at least im myself and not in my head 24/7- or trying to get out of it, honestly.

growth is what it feels like to lose former versions of ourselves. its the shedding of the skin and the journey to becoming who we truly are. we have to unlearn and grow through who we thought we had to be, so we can just be. – mark groves

thats right- we have to unlearn. bet you’ve never heard that before. everyone says we have to learn and learn and learn and keep going to sometimes the point of exhaustion so that we can turn into this superhuman version of ourselves but sometimes we have to unlearn things. we have to unlearn toxic thinking patterns, toxic coping mechanisms, toxic habits. we have to unlearn our past selves so that we don’t fall back into harmful behavior. so we don’t fall back to running to the same old habits, the same toxic people, the same toxic situations just because thats all we know.

learn to unlearn. learn to let go. learn to let yourself be this new, great version. we can be as good or as bad as we really want to be.

i really dislike resolutions people give themselves in the new year because really we can change whenever but if thats what it takes for you- do it. we all have goals and things to work on. its only human.

now onto the list:

  1. learn how to do taxes and adult stuff- it honestly is important
  2. keep a clean environment- it helps your thinking space, your creative space, your mental space and pretty much everything else. messy life, messy mind.
  3. don’t tell people your business. i see a lot of people around me hype themselves up over things they haven’t fully planned out and then they don’t work out and they’re embarrassed. happens to the best of us.
  4. go out as much as you can (or can tolerate). this one has helped me a lot. i’m not a sociable person but usually i end up feeling better if i just go. i’ve met some incredible people along the way too.
  5. self-care is no joke. i know its hard but like really taking a bath once a week is gonna help or whatever you wanna do to take care of yourself really.
  6. try to shift yourself into a more positive mindset. less “poor me” and more “yay me”.
  7. go to all the good concerts. you could like really miss the chance of ever seeing them again
  8. have a creative outlet or a creative goal in mind. i’d probably go insane if i didn’t have some kind of creative hobby.
  9. quit anything that makes you feel like you want to die or just cry all the time. and i mean this in the most serious way possible- whatever it is just quit it because something better will come along.
  10. don’t suffer alone. i feel like the older we get- the more we tend to think we can’t talk about certain things or issues but there is always, always someone who cares enough about you.
  11. fewer people is always such a better time. than having a million friends whom you have nothing in common with.
  12. i feel like i wrote this on my first 24 things post but stop saying sorry so much. so many people this year have made me feel like i have to apologize for things they’ve done. or things i simply didn’t even do. so i say this to myself again- stop saying sorry so much. but also- say sorry when there is a reason and when you really messed up. even if you didn’t even notice that you did something to offend them. its good to just clear the air.
  13. you don’t need to do everything for everyone. (even friends or family) i know thats just who some of us are, but at one point they need to do things for themselves. sometimes people get comfortable with everything you do that they just rely and rely and rely and keep asking. focus on mutual understanding, respect, and mutual relationships in life.
  14. this ones gonna be random but define your style. i’ve worked for that in the past few months and it helps soo much with confidence and just feeling good in general.
  15. help anyone who needs it. like anyone. drop what you’re doing and just listen because sometimes thats all they need.
  16. just keep traveling a lot. try to squeeze in some alone trips because you honestly learn SO much about yourself.
  17. sometimes you change and someone else changes and things just change but thats part of being an adult and its part of having different goals and sometimes people just don’t fit anymore. and its okay. you eventually find your people and your way.
  18. don’t confuse loneliness for missing them. sometimes we just miss being in a relationship and not the person really.
  19. also you don’t need to be married by 20 contrary to popular belief. don’t let people set you up, tell you you’re picky or that you should marry or date so and so’s son. it doesn’t work that way. arranged marriages are not what we want in 2019 lol. but really- just don’t pay any mind to it.
  20. honestly if you know you have anxiety, if you know you have depression or something along the lines- please please please get some help before it gets out of hand. it won’t just go away. even if its a natural doctor if you’re against meds. its the best thing you can do for you. in a year you could be in a much better, much more beautiful place.
  21. really think about and solidify your goals. make a plan, make a list. write down exactly what you need to do in order to get where you need to. remember why you started. whatever you thought of- remember the why. its your driving force.
  22. no, you actually don’t need a boyfriend. you just need to be happy.
  23. sometimes people don’t love you the way you need to be loved. and its okay. you don’t have to be the only one communicating or confronting. relationships with others should honestly just be mutual. not equal, but mutual. because sometimes you need to pick up the other person and thats okay. my longest standing friendships are the ones i’ve never even had an argument with because there’s always communication that in the end, there’s not even room for issues to come up.
  24. love yourself, love the people who love you. love the people who don’t love you. love the people you used to love but things happened. honestly my biggest goal in life is to just love everyone. no matter if things happened between us that can no longer be fixed. you still have a place in my heart, i’ll still pick up the phone if you call. that kind of love. the good kind of love.

thank you guys for reading. i hope you all continue to be positive and work through whatevers coming next because this life isn’t getting any easier. i hope you love people and i hope they love you.

and i hope with all my heart that everyone finds what they’re supposed to, and everyone finds their way because i well know what its like to be lost.

with so much love, as always. – vi

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adventure, blog, life, mental health, photography, self love, travel, travel diary

its all new here again.

its been a long time guys.

since july to be exact. life is, has been, and will aways be crazy.

to be honest- these past few months have been full of adventure and re- self discovery if that makes any sense. i guess when you’re really living life goes by quick..because it’s already december. and im almost 22.

for the past two weeks or so i’ve probably been terrified of turning 22. for me it signifies more than just being able to sing the taylor swift song. it means a new level of ‘adulting’ that i wasn’t sure i was ready to take on at this point in my life.

but when have i ever been ready to take anything on? i think with certainty i can say never. but i do it anyways. i’m not the kind of person who waits for things to happen to me, i make them happen and go for it. we don’t have time to dream up scenarios where we get our lives together.

earlier this year i bought tickets to europe, on a whim, and i ended up going to five different countries. and to have done that at 21, it kind of blew my mind that i was on that airplane. one thing to note- europe is cold and you might get sick if you’re from arizona.

but it was amazing. i saw things i never thought i’d see in my lifetime. younger me felt like i was flying. one night when we got to our airbnb in paris, i went outside and i could see all these people eating, living their lives, sitting on their balconies and drinking wine and laughing and just: living. and its a shame that i had to see that to realize that the little things are what really matter. not the fact that you’re in paris or wherever you are. it is the small, the little things that light up the happiness in you and the creativity in you. of course i was happy to be there, i mean who wouldn’t want to go to paris? but what i mean is that you don’t have to go anywhere special for your life to be special. i probably cried more than i should have that day because i was just so thankful for everything that had led me there.

and for once – i was ready to take on whatever came next. i was and i finally feel decided and ready to move past the hard times that have come with growth, acceptance, and moving on from the past two years.

and to appreciate the people that grow with me. and to appreciate my family. and to appreciate the fact that to get my heart broken i had to have a heart. and to appreciate that life happens- but we must always, always get up and have faith and trust that things will eventually get better.

i thought that i would have some huge realization or i don’t know what i was expecting but its been the small things that have held me together over the years. i feel like i can breathe again lately.

i didn’t even notice how well i was doing until i started dancing again. i started dancing in the shower and in my room and with my sister and with my friends. and probably like two days ago i felt so much happiness and i couldn’t believe that i was dancing again. i hadn’t done that in a long time. i was a dancer for years so the fact that i was doing it again was quite the accomplishment.

i’ve been putting more effort into things like my style- which is superficial in a sense but if you know me you know i’m kinda into fashion. but i wasn’t for a long time, i didn’t care what i looked like because its hard to do that when you hate your job and you’re not exactly happy with where you are in life. and someone (close to me) told me the other day that i looked so much better. and thats when it hit me. i was better, i am better.

i hated my job- so i quit. i would constantly leave so tired and upset because the way i was treated was honestly upsetting. i hated some situations i constantly found myself in- so i took myself out of them and stopped letting others take advantage.

and im so happy i did. i even gained some weight. which at first wasn’t something that i thought i should be happy about, but i am now because that means im taking care of myself. that means i actually have time to eat. that means that i’m feeling healthy again. i think we all underestimate the power of taking care of ourselves. constantly busy is not always good. slowing down is good. self care is good. reading is good. sometimes not traveling all the time is good. routine is good. laughing is good. and no one- nobody should take that away from you.

we live in a culture where people- especially young adults feel pressured to have their schedule full all the time- no matter what that may be.

but i just want to say that slowing down with my life has been huge for me. slowing down and knowing that everything will come in its due time is something i’ve had to repeat to myself every day. but its been worth it. its helped me figure out exactly what i want to do. exactly what i want out of this life.

and i know and accept that things may not go as planned- but they always, always go as they should.

so lets celebrate the small victories. even the ones in our heads. the ones only you know about sometimes. but also the big ones. the ones you thought you’d never get to- but look at you. you did it. even if by ‘it’ has meant getting out of bed or working out for once or eating enough food or starting your own business or simply being happy again.

its all valid. we’re all valid. every little dream of yours is valid.

we constantly have a blank canvas ready for us to make what we want of it.

remember- it’s all new here again. it’s all new and beautiful and we’re here to try again every single day.

with soo much love, as always. -vi🌙

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adventure, blog, life, mental health, photography, self love, travel, Uncategorized

the person you needed.

” you 

and first, before him, and before her, and before them.

there was you.”

-nikita gill

this is for all the girls:

yes especially the girls (we go through a lot)

for the ones who can’t look in the mirror without hating every part

who feel like they are never understood

who don’t get along with their parents

who are depressed

who have gone through a heck of a time waiting for someone who was not ever planning on coming back

this is for the intense girls

the ones who feel everything

the ones who look crazy to everyone else

the ones who want to be happy but something inside them screams that they don’t deseve it

the ones who are proactive

who get what they want through hard work

who are strong

who are powerful

this is for all of them. all of my friends. all of the girls around me who i see struggling, who i wish I could hug all the time and tell them how its going to be okay. how even though you may be 16 and confused right now and it will be a rough couple of years but promise you- you will be 21 sooner than later and things will be different, so soo different, but they will be good.

i just got back home, home. for now at least and I’ve been on like 6 airplanes in the past 2 months so things have been crazy. but being in the air gives you time to think. and every time you come back from somewhere new, things are always inevitably different than when you left. its weird because i’ve somehow figured out what i want in this span of time and i think this year is the most exciting one yet for me.

lately i just see everyone around me and it seems so surreal because i’d see them and think they had their life together, they either had job they liked, were accomplishing their goals and somehow taking all the right steps, were in the right relationships somehow with the perfect person, would always somehow look presentable and perfect. and here I am: wrong relationships, never even paints her nails, needs a better (day) job, and has goals but does not even have an idea of how to get there. anyone else with me?

but the more I talked to my close friends I guess I just started noticing that no one has it together at 21. no one realistically ends up with their first boyfriends. no one knows how to start in terms of accomplishing goals at this age. no one is completely confident in themselves.

and i guess I just wanted to talk about something that has helped me to accept things the way that they are. to be who you needed when you were younger. if you didn’t have someone like you, how you can turn into that person for someone else. how you can try to get out of the mess you constantly find yourself in. i find myself helping someone when i see that they need it because i remember needing it. i remember needing to scream and yell and tell someone what was wrong and no one was there to listen.

its hard work. such such hard work. because at one point you have to stop hating yourself. you have to be okay with yourself. you have to accept that you are never going to look like someone else or have someone else’s life and surprise- that is your power. you have to wake up in the morning and force yourself up to a certain point to be okay. to not wish you weren’t you. you have through mountains and problems and challenges and so much that only you have experienced and you shouldn’t want it any other way because this is you- this is the epitome of who you are. and honestly if you knew how to take compliments instead of wondering if they are real or genuine or just flat out not believing it, this world would be a better place. because I’ve been there. taking compliments is honestly one of the hardest things for me. because how can you believe that you have something good, when you have never had a decent amount of self-esteem? its heavy stuff.

and lets talk about relationships. i have realized that you can have a relationship with someone, and this even speaks friendship wise, and if you are just never okay with yourself you end up giving your all to these people which is not necessarily bad in itself, but when they leave you have nothing left in you. you’re empty because you’re pouring from an empty cup. and trust me- that is not the best place to be. i know its overly repeated but you need to love yourself before you love other people. of course I think that its impossible to be able to fully love ourselves, its a constant process. but when you work towards it, your relationships with other people get better. and you attract the kind of people that only better you.

and when you have good people around you-even the worst of times don’t seem so bad.

another point that speaks volumes to me is mental health. again- you cannot pour from an empty cup. although my friends seem to describe me as the person who is always there- literally, there was a point and time when i felt i wasn’t even there for myself. but i don’t remember ever turning completely cold because of the way i felt. yes- that can be the easy way out. you can just stop trying in every sense of your life because you feel empty and basically just dead inside (lets be real shall we?). but that is not the way out. the main thing that got me out of almost 3 years of being depressed was being there for other, helping others, even when i felt the way i did. because even as much as i tried to numb myself to everything- i just couldn’t. that was never who i was. i guess to me, my problems were never greater than others. i simply realized that we all have problems. we all have struggles that could quite easily bring us down. and at the end of the day you have yourself. you have you. all day, all the time. so you can’t just make yourself numb because- all you really have is you.

i read something recently that talked a bit about forgiving and letting go. and this has been something huge for me. forgiving can come to mean literally letting go. just to let go. and nothing has resonated with me more than that in a long time. you must forgive other people for everything. because this will liberate you. it will set you free. i was recently in new york and that place has so many dead memories to me that i had to promise myself mid-way through the week that once i let go of them, it would set me free. that i could pass by the place where you told me you were sorry, that i could pass by the place that we met and just be okay with myself- be okay with you, in the past, where you and all these memories belong.

lets start letting go of all the nostalgia, of all the things that consistently weigh us down and feel like they are pounding in our heads- waiting to get out. its time that we realized that they aren’t good for us. there’s so many broken dreams but there are so many new ones. so many thing you and i can do, so many things left to live for. so many loves left to meet. so many books to read. so many more places to go. so many more goals to set your self.

so stop worrying about who you will marry. and about how all your friends seem to have it together. or about how you never seem to get along with your parents. or about how you don’t look like her, or her, or the girl on tv or the girl you saw at the mall.

forgive yourself. for all the times you didn’t take care of yourself. for all the times you didn’t take care of your health. for when you accepted the love you thought you deserved- when in reality you deserve so much more than half loves. for all the times you broke down in your car or in the middle of a day at work. for the messy-imperfect you who doesn’t look like a model all the time. it does not matter. you are here, and here is just the right place to be.

” the world is a large and confusing place, sometimes it is important to remember the simple things. like where you are for example.

here you are.”

-oliver jeffers

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new york: travel diary

“the universe is in your bones, the stars in your soul; its never really the end”

how incredible and amazing was this trip? i can’t even fathom or explain it but here’s a go at it: the happy. all of the happy. the getting lost in the subway, the going to the grocery store in the middle of the night sitting on the roof eating cereal nights. the random hole in the wall cafes that bring out the best of laughs in all of us. the heartfelt conversations on the metro. the feeling and certainty that everything has changed but everything is okay. and the beauty of change. of knowing that this time its okay to let go of people and things.

i believe some travel experiences just shape and impact you in ways that you don’t even understand yourself. i strive to keep going places until i can say i’ve found myself. or at the very least to keep expanding and learning and believing.

here’s a random thought: life is sometimes, between all the monotony, failed dreams, unspoken apologies, problems and trials and terrible people, so very beautiful. Lets enjoy the little tiny pieces of uncomparable happiness. this trip was one of those little crazy pieces of life you’re not sure are real. Hope you guys enjoy this little diary i put together.


DĂ­a Uno (Aug. 30th)

we took a red-eye flight from phoenix and got to newark at around 9 am. soo tired but so ready for the day (nothing a little makeup can’t fix amiright?). we then made our way to wallkill, new york, a little more than 2 hours away from newark- definitely a nice, quiet part of upstate new york. we made it to wallkill bethel, and wooooow. i had been here before in the winter but summer suits wallkill beautifully. we had a quick lunch, met some really cool people and then headed for our tour!

a few highlights:

me and alons in the lobby and then in the printing press (look how tiny we are!!!)

a bit more from the printing press. let me just say that it’s incredible coming to wallkill and seeing everyone at work at the presses. it seems like such a difference since last year when i was there, everything is visibly more advanced and more accessible for everyone.

we met people from (surprise!) arizona, california, and i believe germany.

and this is one of my favorite pictures. i have an identical picture from last year but this is one of my favorite views in wallkill because out of these rolls we get our information, we get our publications.

after the press, we headed outside! to the prettiest lake view.

wallkill bethel

then we took a little extra tour of the farms, the shoe shop, the cemetery, and a few parks around bethel.

view from outskirts of bethel

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goodbye walkill(you are most definitely my favorite) we will see you soon.

part two: warwick, new york. we then drove about an hour to warwick, ny and arrived at warwick bethel. this is what we were most mosttttt excited about. warwick bethel: breathtaking, simply breathtakingly beautiful. i encourage anyone who wants to go to plan and see this beautiful place, this beautiful house that we have been given so lovingly.

the watchtower

we arrived at warwick at around 6 for our tour with a good friend who took us on this tour (thank you!). the environment here is gorgeous. that’s the only way to describe it because i was sick, tired, and running on 2 hours of sleep but i enjoyed this so much.

we went straight to the self-guided tours and exhibits which i won’t give too much away of because it’s something everyone should see for themselves. here are some snapshots of our evening:

1: the ‘ Bible and the Divine Name’ exhibit that used to be in Brooklyn. listening to the self-guided tour.

2: the best mural i’ve seen. so many tears and good feelings for what is to come. this was part of the tour ‘ A People for Jehovah’s Name’.

3: the really really cool elevator that pau so kindly pointed out.

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“a day in your courtyard is better than a thousand anywhere else”

we got to see the photo drama of the creation, which i hadn’t seen in brooklyn so i was very very excited to finally see it.

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we said our goodbyes to warwick with full and thankful hearts.

after leaving warwick (crying might i add) we headed to brooklyn bethel, where we had the privilege of staying in the towers building on clark street.

this is how we ended the night, with beaming hearts and so much gratitude.

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towers gave us the best view, goodnight nyc. it was a wonderful first day

Dia Dos (August 31st)and hello brooklyn! we started the day admiring our view for the next few days, now in actual daylight.

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our favorite window

this day we slept in so naturally we went to have brunch, and after wandering the streets of brooklyn for a while we found a cafe. so good. soo good.

we had brunch at 61 Local. the best vegan tacos in the world no matter what anyone says ever. it was a little on the pricier side (just fyi) but so worth it. and everyone working there was very nice, which is always a plus!

i had some mushroom tacos, my sister had the avocado toast, and alons had tacos as well. overall 10/10.

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after brunch we went for a walk in brooklyn heights, pineapple street anyone?

can i please be carrie bradhsaw for a day?

next: brooklyn bridge park and brooklyn bridge. lots of walking (duh), we ate mangoes, and we heard ‘get out of the bike lane’ one too many times, anyone else?

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A: no matter the hardships, the losses, the unfortunate fact that our lives are far from perfect..this trip with you was a reminder that the true friends are the ones that never left no matter the circumstances, the ones that stayed through all the heartbreaks and mental breakdowns. the ones you can quite literally call at 4 am only to hear them tell you that they won’t leave, not like the others. and i believe you a, i have since i met you. no matter what anyone has to say about our friendship.

and my sweet little sister. i love you beyond comparison pau. even if we fight, i plan on taking you to as many places as i can at least until we run out of ideas. never stop being yourself. never let anyone tell you you can’t achieve something because i am so certain that you can.

now back to our day. even though it’s now closed, we went to visit brooklyn bethel at least from the outside.

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sometime during the day, we found ourselves in the famous park from the “Brooklyn” movie, which is a must watch if you haven’t seen it yet. it’s honestly one of the most beautiful movies i’ve seen. and so was this park, which sadly i don’t even know the name of…..

anyways we somehow found ourselves super lost on the metro because nobody told us we shouldn’t take the R train. but after getting on and off what seemed like a hundred times, we made it to the staten island ferry.

we went to staten island, danced to taylor swift, found a random rooftop, and also looked for pretzels which we found but didn’t buy for obvious reasons…..

we made our way back to brooklyn, stayed far away from the R train and got home to eat cereal and peaches. we practically lived off cereal and peaches that week which isn’t as bad as you may think.

Dia Tres (September 1st) 

i feel like im talking too much so heres what we did on day 3: we went to the MET, the met steps because gg (of course), we met up with janys (!!!), me and janys had been wanting to meet for a really long time. her feed is amazing, she is the sweetest, and she took us to the MOMA museum and freemans alley that day. thanks to her and her friends for the fun-filled day. we can’t wait to come back and hang out with you guys in long island!

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felt just like S and B walking these streets

the architecture and design at the met is beautiful. its never-ending and i wish we had hours upon hours to explore every bit of it.

1: egyptian jewelry exhibit

2 & 4: the famous met window overlooking central park

3: actual egyptian pyramid inside the met

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we also might have gone to the tiffany’s store and have been a little too influenced by audrey

as you guys can tell, we started the night serious, and ended it laughing and with the biggest smiles.

we also went to MOMA as i mentioned before. claude monet and contemporary art were quite the addition to the night.

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freemans alley & restaurant

we ended the night at freemans. once again i am soo so thankful for this day. we made the most beautiful frienships ever.

Dia Cuatro (September 2nd)

CONEY ISLAND!

can you tell we were happy to be heading here?

we had breakfast at a bagel place that had amazing vegan cream cheese i wanted to bring all of it home…..all of it. we also went to brooklyn roasting company, possibly the coolest coffee shop i’ve ever been to.

and also the street! the famous brooklyn bridge street. it was pretty cold this day, hence the tights and jackets lol, or maybe its just because we live in the blazing heat in az, either way i promise it was cold.

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only because i liked my outfit

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the view from the pier

later this day, after buying one too many things and going on the ferris wheel the surprisingly rocks itself back and forth and was very scary no matter what pau says, we met up with my beautiful rosemary. i stayed with her last time i was in ny and i could not wait to see her!

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we went to the 9/11 memorial and little italy, china town, the oculus, and then to chelsea market.

audrey mural in little italy

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the mesmerizing oculus

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chelsea market in all of its vibrancy

we went back to brooklyn, me and a were feeling blue and we bought cereal and went up to the roof of towers to eat and just talk about life. for that night everything felt alright. i don’t have pictures of it, we all know the best nights usually don’t. but everything felt amazing and bittersweet, and nostalgic because we would never be in that moment again. we would never be 20, on the roof of towers in new york talking about everything wrong, but also everything good. nothing has ever lived up to that night ever since.

Dia Cinco (September 3rd)

we woke up early and left brooklyn to meet up at rose’s hall for meeting, we walked and took the metro which was a little crazy because it started pouringggggg. we got to the meeting soaked but we got there, and we bought a clear umbrella (cute & convenient).

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p.s: we were wearing tennis shoes because dumb us forgot to bring flats so we changed into heels at the meeting.

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polka dot + clear umbrella= cutest ever

post-meeting photos( what are me and a looking at? the world may never know)

we went back to brooklyn early, said our goodbyes to rose, and went and did laundry which somehow called for cute pictures…..or alondra calling life alert, at least we got good pictures out of it?

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and clean laundry of course…..

after we were done eating and putting all our things away we went to grand central to relive some key gossip girl moments. S and lonely boy didn’t stand a chance…

we ended up going to hoboken this day, in new jersey. but to be completely honest all i left with was someones metro card and hidden goodbyes and lots of nostalgia, no further explaining can be done on this particular night.

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new jersey

Dia Seis (September 4th)first stop: jajaja nyc- a completely vegan mexican restaurant. anyone looking or vegan options in ny should most definitely try this, its not even weird fake mexican food like chipotle, this was actually good lol.

i had the flautas, pau had nachos, and a had chiles rellenos. soo so delish

inside of jajaja

speaking of food we had so much shake shack that i didn’t take pictures of any of it but shake shack is a must. fyi: if you’re vegan go for the garden dog with normal fries.

we went to central park, to the bethesda fountain where chuck and blair got married so of course we had to go.

we headed to the empire for some final views of this city of dreams before our last day ended.

sunset at the empire


we ended our last night at times square. we saved the most alive part of nyc for last. and yes me and alons wore matching glitter shirts (judge us, we really don’t care)

these lights are so bright✨

to say we loved nyc is an understatement. new york has always been a one of a kind city in my eyes. also for anyone wanting to get from brooklyn to newark or vice versa, you can take the NJ transit line there and whatever train has a little airplane next to it will take you straight there. just make sure to leave 3-4 hours before your departure because public transportation is not the most reliable at times.

if you made it this far, congrats guys because i know how much i talk. i hope whoever reads this enjoys it and our pictures.

much love, as always.

v.

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rooftop ventures

hi guys! so I’m going to try and post at least once a month and for this month i’m sharing a few shots from last weekend with everyone! i had a lot of fun shooting these pictures. like a lottttt. i haven’t (or at least hadn’t) been able to take pictures the way i wanted to, it felt like i had lost motivation or inspiration. but when we got up here and saw the view, a little switch went off in my head and we came up with these.

so here we go:

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my sister (she’s always my model lol)

let me just tell you all the light was sooooooooo good. i can’t get over it. i want to go back to this place like every single weekend now.

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one of my favorites!

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and i definitely had to add a black and white shot because i mean, why not?

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black | white

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out into the city

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this light (!!!)

isn’t she pretty?

 

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and the fun one for last…..

a few fun shots: this rooftop was amazng!

so thank you!! for getting this far. i love to say that at the end of posts because im thankful that you took the time to read this. and thanks to my little sis for being a model (the cutest one) and for dealing with my annoyingness, always trying to make my picture ideas come true.

this whole shoot i had ‘the city’ by the 1975 stuck in my head, it had such a feel to it. and you know we listened to it on the way back home because it is possibly the only thing me and my sister have in common: our love for the 1975. and our love for memes……..something we are slightly ashamed of.

 

 

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these were all taken on canon t5i with 50mm 1.4 lens (if anyone wanted to know)

see you in april guys! – v

🌙

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