adevneture, blog, goals, life, new beginnings, new year, photography, self love

24 things i learned in 2019

nothing changes, if nothing changes.

half of my 2019 was the worst and half of it was the best. this year i faced the worst of the worst fears that i had.

and i mean, it was honestly terrifying. but just like every year- we survive. its what we do. and i know, time is just an earthly measure of time that our brains sort of understand, but one year can really pick your brain and teach you a lot you didn’t know about yourself.

this past year i lost a lot of things.

starting with myself. i want to think that this was my peak point. the two years before that i felt very *floaty* and thats the only way i can describe my emotions and my life. like i was just floating and letting things happen because i felt like i literally could not control anything. and whatever i would try to control just wouldn’t work or it would go the total opposite direction. so i just let things happen to me. i want to say i even stopped trying at a certain point. i *knew* what my end goal was for this year which was moving to new york. but, even in that sense i felt no control over my plans at times. thankfully, i know i was blessed because everything worked out in ways that i never would have even imagined.

i lost people i NEVER thought i would lose. like when i say never, i mean never. ever ever. ever. one of those people, im honestly glad i lost. it taught me the value of being able to walk away even when you love someone. because if you value yourself as a person, you will have to walk away from people who hurt you. who openly hurt you and did for more years than should be allowed. this was the exact point at a restaurant in march where i lost it and i said no. and i took my power back. i took back the years of making myself small for someone else. someone who was never going to love me just as much as i loved him. and thats the moment i remembered who i was. thats the exact moment i found myself again. i want to take a moment to say how much i appreciate all the friends who helped me see the light in everything. who honestly held my hand and helped me through the messy waters.

the other person- i just honestly didn’t see it coming. i wish i could’ve done something to stop it. anything to stop the distance and the not catching up with eachother and letting eachother go over time. i know we can’t change the past- but there’s a lot to be said about wishing you could’ve just maybe done something else? something to make things go a different way. i wish i could tell her that she was one of the best people i’ve ever met. and that i love her. that i would have never survived without her. that sometimes, even though im very far away from her, i think of her. i think of her every day and i only hope for the best. i only hope for her to be happy. i only hope one day she’s not as mad as she seems to be at me, and we can just laugh about it and pretend it was all just a bad dream. but every bone in my body tells me we will never be those 20 year olds on the roof ever again.

and i guess thats what growing up is. you lose and you learn. and as hard as it is- you accept that some people played a bigger part in your life and story than you did in theirs. that maybe you just always loved them more. and thats okay.

i lost my fear of failing. which in hindsight- is a good thing. i decided to do things that terrfied me without knowing what the outcome would be. and hey- i’ve learned more about myself in the past 3 months than i’ve learned in the past 2 years. and that has to be something.

i lost my need to be organized and rigid and perfect 24/7. i was that girl. and although i generally still am- i don’t beat myself up over it anymore. i live a busy life. and sometimes that means i eat pb&j sandwiches all week because i barely have time to breathe. and sometimes i know that if i even think of laying down in the middle of the day i will fall asleep. and these have been the busiest, craziest, happiest, loveliest 3 months of my life. and i feel like before i might’ve thought i was happy. but man, am i happy. things are never easy, and they aren’t all what i thought they would be. they are expensive and time consuming (can someone say laundromats?) and sometimes annoying. but they are so happy. living this simply and out of my comfort zone i was sure i’d lack something but no- i’ve gained so much.

this is the first place in my entire life where i finally feel like i fit in. like this is what my whole life was leading up to. its full potential.

there are about 8 things more or less i want to do this year:

  1. complete my service hours!!! hard but doable.
  2. learn how to play the ukulele and start making more covers.
  3. hopefully get into dancing again (missin my ballet shoes righ abt now)
  4. have a healthy relationship with myself, my body and food.
  5. this year i want to create more. more videos, more film. more happy genuine documenting. it makes me so happy so i need to do more of it.
  6. go to the city and watch a broadway musical
  7. somehow get my hands on a super 8mm film camera. it would make my total and complete life.
  8. do things that genuinely make me happy every single day. little joys. its the little joys.

and heres what i supposedly learned:

  1. i will never under any circumstances work a full time job again- that is a vow and promise i will make to myself for forever
  2. love shows up in so many different ways. you just have to pay attention
  3. love languages are real. pay attention to them!!!
  4. its okay to miss people. its okay to tell them. it doesn’t make you weak. it makes you human.
  5. its okay that your conscience is different than someone else’s. it doesn’t make you stuck up or polished or whatever. it just to me- makes you a more aware person.
  6. how much i love my family and my culture. as i was getting ready to leave- i started to hone down and realize what things made me, me. and it all came down to the things i grew up with.
  7. i learned to appreciate my parents a lot more. they aren’t perfect. but they do so much. and they mean so much. and they are really that much.
  8. i learned that people leave and you can’t control when they leave or why they leave or if they leave. or really if it has anything to do with you.
  9. i learned to be thankful for the time people gave me, whether it was years or months.
  10. i learned that my mind really doesn’t function well if im not creating. which is why i have the goal of creating more.
  11. people will show up for you in unimaginable ways. please let them. don’t close yourself off to love and attention.
  12. i learned to spend time alone again. and to love it. for a period of time there, i felt like i couldn’t be alone. but now i love it again.
  13. i learned to stop being embarrassed. im a very naturally introverted person but i promised myself this year i’d start getting out there more. that i would stop being so self conscious. (which im def still working on btw)
  14. i learned that im the loving type. i love and i love and i dont ever stop. and i learned to accept that about myself. i’ve been made to feel at times that it was a weakness to let people back in like that. but i’ve said this before and i’ll say it again- if i love someone, i will love them until i die. even if i never hear from them again.
  15. vulnerability does not mean weakness. im a firm believer in saying things when you feel them. tell people you love them even if you think it will ruin everything. tell them you miss them and you can’t live without them. just tell them. i stopped holding back, mostly because (if you know me well) you know that i can’t physically or emotionally hold myself back too much either way.you say things, you tell the truth and you go from there. you go from there. things can either work or not but you won’t ever know if you don’t try.
  16. i learned to set myself more realistic goals. i used to have this super ridiculous high expectation of doing 20 things in a day which i won’t say is impossible but is downright degrading to yourself as an imperfect human who can’t do half of the thing you try doing- correctly. so no, i will not be trying to get up at 5am or go to sleep at 9 in the near future, but a girl can dream of getting a full 8 hours right?
  17. if someone is hurt by something you did, you don’t have the right to tell them to not be upset. what you can do is always, always fix it. always be the bigger person.
  18. i learned that i don’t like being around people who can’t own up to what they do. who can’t take advice. who can’t even confront or even talk when things get messy. this is just something i realized- and well i adjusted accordingly.
  19. this year i learned that the kind of love i want, is not unrealistic. i may not have it yet. but i can assure you its out there somewhere. on the face of someone who can’t wait to meet someone like me. and the fact is that i want something pure, honest, dare i say-life changing? i want the kind with flowers and walks in the park and aquarium dates and love letters, and a collection of videos explaining why i love them. and that does not make me hard to love. it just makes me honest about what i want.
  20. its hard getting older. its hard when you wake up and you’re 23. i speak for myself. in those moments i just take a deep breath and try not to look in the mirror too much. it drives you crazy getting old. i think it gets harder for me because the older i get the less time i feel like i have.
  21. i learned to accept that sometimes you find more family in people who are not your family. and thats okay. sometimes that’s the support system you always needed but never had.
  22. i realized how much i love arizona. i realized it the moment i set a date to leave to new york. i realized it the moment my room was empty. i realized it the moment i couldn’t stop crying when i was saying goodbye to my dad. when i was driving home from work for the last time. because i know it will be so different when i go back to visit. its not home anymore, and i’m afraid it never really felt like so. but the mountains can make you feel otherwise when the nostalgia hits.
  23. i finally understood what full circle meant. i could finally go back and look at the turning points in my life. i could look at them with a better knowledge about myself. one that i never had before. the kind that helps you understand that you went through all you went through and some things were easy and happy and some things were to put it simply- heartbreaking. but i don’t see myself here if it hadn’t been for all the things in between.
  24. the biggest thing i learned was that i knew what i was looking for all along. i could just never put it into perspective. and moving here. doing this. trusting people again. crying from the homesickness at times- they all make sense. i needed this. i found the me that i lost years ago. i found her again in the streets of the city and in the quiet parts of my little one lane town. i found her in the bookstores and the quiet snow days filled with apple cider and breakfast at tiffanys. i found her in the walks alone around the neighborhood, and the middle of the night laughs and taco bell runs with people that i never expected to find. i found her where she must’ve been trying to make her way to a long, long time ago. she was trying to make her way to the place that felt like home.

some words that really stuck in my head throughout this year:

the truth is that it hurts because its real. it hurts because it mattered. and that’s an important thing to acknowledge to yourself. but that doesn’t mean it won’t end, it won’t get better. because it will.

-john greene.

it hurt because it mattered. it hurt moving here. it hurt missing people. it hurt leaving my room. it hurt leaving my people, my friends. it hurt. because it mattered. it matters. so much. but you know what else mattered? my happiness. and this is only the start of what i want to say has been the happiest period of my life.

until next time. maybe i’ll write again in a year. maybe i will before and keep it to myself or maybe i’ll read it to someone.

-vi.

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adventure, blog, life, photography, travel, travel diary

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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