Sunday, December 10, 2017

falling in love in Chicago

I have learned to appreciate moments with the humans in my life that I value as friends. I appreciate the connection we have and how it differs from any I have with anyone else. Friendships can be as strong and close as family or a romantic partner.
Some friends are your soulmates. You have those that come into your life at the exact time you were meant to meet. Some move to new places but when you are both in the same city, you make each other the top priority. Friendships can be romantic in a sense. They are relationships where all you feel is love and wanting pure happiness for the other. I have learned to value all these connections and the time we spend together.
Spontaneity got the best of us and we planned a girl's trip without hesitation. The tickets were affordable and the weekend completely free for all three of us. No research was done or agendas created for the trip. Nothing was planned and we enjoyed every second of it. Each day unfolded with delicious food, long walks through the city and being present with each other. The city revealed to us all we needed to see. Art galleries lured us in with their colors from the streets. We all walked through in silence, appreciating what we saw and realizing the emotions it made us feel.
That is what art is. It’s created to make you feel something.

As I sat in the middle of a gallery in the city, I looked around at the art that surrounded me. The paint had made its way off the canvases with the soft fluid movement onto the walls and consumed the space it was in. Feeling calm and alive, I was certain I was exactly where I was meant to be. Detached from the world but so involved in what's in front of you
We were three Florida girls in the windy city experiencing winter with the opportunity to truly feel Christmas. The streets glistened with lights covering every tree, light post and window. Music playing everywhere you went to get you in the spirit. Even the shrubbery was decorated with pinecones. It was a complete holiday wonderland with chilly weather to match. It was the most amount of clothes I have worn all year and the most Christmas spirit I have felt since I was a child.
We have moments in our lives. Moments we don’t forget that stick with us, the ones that make you feel something. I was able to have alone time with each friend, which gave me a chance to adventure with each in our own way.
Becky and I explored Wicker Park making stops wherever struck our curiosity. When we needed to refuel, we stopped into a coffee shop with large cozy leather couches that we sunk into. Sipping on our caffeine while Beyonce played through the speakers, I couldn’t be happier with the moment in front of me. Our day ended with a gluttonous romantic pasta dinner. As I looked over the table during the multiple entrees we shared, I realized this was one of those moments. I was truly present appreciating our friendship and realizing how much it had grown over time. I fell more in love with her in this new city we were experiencing together. We have friends that we instantly connect with and over time we fall more in love with. This moment and the entire day will be part of how our friendship grew.
Kristen and I spent all of Sunday together. The sun rose lighting up the city through the buildings as we walked to breakfast. We sat at a French café with big cups of hot frothed beverages and discussed the future. Giving each other outlooks at where we saw the other and ourselves. Walking through the park in the morning light, I found a patch of grass that looked far more delightful to lie upon instead of having my feet take one more step. When I suggested the idea Kristen joined me on the ground. Starting my playlist up, we both listened and moved our bodies without speaking. I lay looking up at the cloudless sky realizing that not all friends will just silently do yoga by each other in different cities together. We understand the other and can flow without feeling the need to fill in space with words. 
We made our way to the art museum where we were the complete opposite of silent. Linked arms, roaming through all the rooms of the Art Institute discussing the art and laughing at the amount of nipples one museum could have. A day like this filled with ab inducing laughter and breathless cackles together is how I fell more in love with her. We were able to see a new city together and appreciate the morning light shining through the tall buildings.
Friends remind you of who you are and let you know that it’s entirely okay to be that way. They bring out the childlike soul within you and know exactly what to say to make you fall over in laughter.
Each soulmate comes into your life to make you feel happy and loved. Seeing you for who you are and knowing your strength. Wanting only for you to become more and be greater. You experience different things in life together and no two friendships are ever the same.
This girl’s trip was planned on a whim. Gallivanting a new city together all bundled up; I fell more in love with my friends and realized that we are soulmates. Appreciate the moments you have with each friendship. Realize they are all unique and each brings out different emotions within you. Surround yourself with only love and make to be present to feel it all.

Monday, October 30, 2017

music festival vibes

Music is intimate. It’s a connection between the musician and you. Live performances allow you to feel the connection even deeper. The melodies flow through our bodies, yet we all interpret music differently. There are those that enjoy standing upright and letting their ears be consumed by every beat. Both feet planted into the ground as if any movement would distract them from receiving the music. Then there are the ones that sway or two-step maintaining a steady beat, so their bodies can absorb the vibrations through the consistent movement. For some the music flows throughout their entire body, taking over and guiding different body parts to flow with the beat. At times even closing the eyes to shut off one sense to better absorb without the outside world looking back. Using the music to free you from your mind and bring you into your body.
Music festivals give you the opportunity to watch passionate creators performing for you to move to. The festival line-ups contain wide varieties of music for all to experience. We all come together to wander from stage to stage to find the music that makes us feel something.
We all groove to different kinds of music. It’s the ones that vibe on your same wavelength that accompany you through the multiple day fest. Always finding the ideal spot that gave us a view of the musicians while also allowing plenty of room to move our bodies as freely as needed. Dropping our backpacks to the ground to reduce the weight on our shoulders. The sweat dripped down our faces as the music washed over all of us in the heat of Texas. We survived on tamales for fuel to keep us going. Watching musicians we admire and ones we discovered that day leaving us inspired and exhausted.
My toothy grin went from ear to ear forcing my eyes to become small slits hiding behind my sun kissed cheeks. Behind my dust covered sunglasses I peeped at my life. Feeling my soul glow and my heart filling with immense happiness. I was by these women that I adore being reminded of our bond and how it grew stronger after this adventure.
In a new city with two of my closest girl friends surviving the heat to experience the whole weekend. We created our small circle in the head bobbing crowd where no one else existed but the music and us, dancing around aimlessly and laughing together.
It was by these women that I felt I could be my purest self. They see me for me and allow me to be. It is the women you surround yourself with that will inspire you to move forward. The close friends who want you to only succeed and live your truth. The friendships that always give each other the room to be raw and vulnerable with no judgment. It is the ladies that I idolize and can call my best friends.
Even though we can’t always be together at a music festival holding each other’s hands tightly as we maneuver our way in the crowds, I feel strengthened knowing their support is always holding me up. The music freed us from our daily routines and brought us into our present bodies. Allowing us to all vibe on the same wavelength.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

mother nature is unpredictable & powerful

Hurricanes are unpredictable. We are at war with Mother Nature, but we have no ability to control her. We are uncertain of what is going to happen and that is what scares us the most. 
This hurricane is serious. We started to hear about it in the beginning of the week and to be honest I didn’t take it very seriously at all. Being a Floridian my entire life I know how unpredictable hurricanes are and didn’t want to start panicking until I was sure it was coming for us. It seemed like a hurricane day that we used to get as children and I maximized the time I got to be outside.

Then Hurricane Irma made it known that she was coming straight for us and the reality of what could be started to sneak in. As a state we began to prepare by boarding up and escaping North when we realized the magnitude of her. Buying all we needed for just in case scenarios and bunkering down for what could be a few days of this. Gas and water became limited. Plane tickets skyrocketed in cost and the highways were crowded with everyone trying to leave. 
A violent hurricane coming towards your home really makes you change your perspective on everything. The small petty things in life disappear. The things that truly matter are what becomes your main priority; family and friend’s safety and getting through this. We are all in this together. With 120 mph winds and a storm surge that is estimated from 9 to 12 feet, this hurricane is no joke. Our eyes are glued to the news to be aware of what is happening while also praying that she shifts direction. Most of the city had to evacuate their homes. My family and I evacuated yesterday to Golisano Children’s Hospital, which has become a shelter for over 3,000 people and approximately 200 animals. The doctors, nurses and staff are doing all they can for everyone.
Strangers are becoming friends. Friends have become family. We are looking out for one another because we understand the worry that is in all of our hearts. Our actions are us trying to remain calm and comfort each other, but the fear in our eyes and our loss of words show what is truly in our hearts. The animals can feel it and I could see in their eyes their frightened spirit.

We are all in this together. We all took refuge & are here to support each other. 
I have lived and grown up in southwest Florida, this is my home. My family and friends are here. Florida you’ll make it through this! You are a lot more stubborn than most states and I know you’ll not let a hurricane with the name Irma take you down. All we can do is be as positive as we can. Hope for the best and when this is all done help those where needed.

Monday, August 7, 2017


People come into our lives at the exact moment we need them to and not a moment sooner. Friendships can last forever but some have an expiration date.
Regardless of their length of time, each one will teach you. The lessons are of growth, of life, and enjoying each other. Friends are those that come together to enjoy what life has to offer. For adventures, laughter, memories, and lessons.
When the friendship is no longer fun, and brings upon feelings of sadness, anger or irritability; it could mean that the friendship has run its full course for the time being. Its at this time of frustration that we decide if we continue with the friendship even though it has become more of a burden than an enjoyment or realize that its come to an end now. Even though you tried and you put forth the effort to hold you two together, the efforts went unappreciated and useless. At times you don’t have a say in the conclusion of them but the friend wanted it to not continue on. The friend decided that their life path no longer included you to be a part of it and they no longer wanted to put forth the energy required. Perhaps a fight caused the ripple in your friendship and they see no reason for repair. Whatever the reason is that caused the tear in your connection, it could just not be meant for you in this time of your life.

At the end of the day, friendships should not be hard or cause you to be feeling more angry than happy. This goes for all relationships. If the emotion you feel with this person is mostly a feeling that causes you distress or sadness then realize that this is not how it should be at all.
When the expiration date has arrived, it can be hard. Because a friendship ending induces heartbreak, regardless of it not being a romantic relationship. You have put love into another. You have shared moments and secrets with each other. Your friendship was a bond you once saw as forever. But now your time together has come to an end.
You may not both see eye to eye anymore. The love and energy you were putting into it may no longer be reciprocated. Life happens and people change, we become busy and no longer decide to put forth the effort. Friendship takes mutual respect and both involved investing into the other. It is about growth, and showing each other support and always pushing them to be their very best.
The memories you’ve had together showed you who you are. You both grew together. But now your paths are separating. We don’t always continue down the same paths. When we meet that fork in the road, we have to let go. For as much as we want this friendship to continue because its what you two shared together, you both know that it wasn’t fun anymore.
I’ve had many friendships end. Close and dear friends that I thought would be forever & always. But with time, we grew & we changed. We become different people than who we befriended at first. The effort and want for the friendship has to be reciprocated. We know that this person has come to our life for a reason. And for some reason, they are no longer to continue in the direction we are headed.
Friendships are made from similarities and likes. You grow a bond over your connection and the energy created when you are together. You can feel a bond with people. When you first meet them, a desire to get to know them, and hear their stories. For their story will include their trials and tribulations in life. Learning about this captivating person by hearing who they are, we absorb experiences and learn from them.
The friendships that are meant to happen for you will happen effortlessly and easily. Those you are meant to meet, you will connect with by no force. Conversation will flow clearly and a connection will grow with each time you continue working on this new found companionship. Stories will be shared of pain. Advice and input is given based on experiences. You feel safe and aware that this person will be there for you. They will help you when you need it and they will support you in your journeys on your path. Through celebrations and pain, friendships always help.
Friendships appear though at the time you are meant to have them. Regardless of you both living in the same vicinity for years before your friendship has started. You may run in the same circles, but your connection moment hadn’t occurred until it was ready to.
A few years ago I was dumped while doing an internship overseas. The justification was based on him being lonely and it being unfair to him. Knowing I couldn’t allow this break up to ruin my trip, I buried my broken heart and continued on for the next two months adventuring with my mother. I could not allow a cowardly breakup to take away from my mother daughter journey. Once I returned, he wanted to mend our relationship. Before going forward, I had to ask if there was anyone while I was gone and he admitted there was. Through his convincing explanation and apologies, I forgave him. In my eyes I felt the relationship hadn’t fully run its entire course yet, we weren’t completely done.
When confronting my girlfriend about this other woman, she told me they all knew her. At first I demanded to see a picture to see who she was. My friend insisted I sleep on it and decide tomorrow morning. After a full nights rest, I decided to not see who she was. With a full image of her, I would compare every finite detail of her to myself. I also did not want to see who she was, because it had nothing to do with her at all. She never did anything wrong. He was the one who pursued her while still having a girlfriend and representing himself as a single man. His actions and pursuits gave the impression that he didn’t have another love. Our relationship ended way after its expiration date, because I never wanted to fully admit that its date had come. When the emotion you are feeling is mostly sadness than happiness, that is when your life paths cannot continue side by side.
I created a friendship with the other woman. We never knew until the other day as we both realized together. A bond formed with a girl I ran in the same circles with. We both would see each other at different venues but there was one night that we both came together to talk. A friendship formed and we started making plans each week. It flowed so easily. We shared stories of our past, our self-journeys and our future dreams.
On a drive back from yoga, the name of my past relationship came out in conversation. She told me about a summer fling from a few years ago who bore the same name. We laughed at the outrageous realization we had. Bewildered at the coincidence, we knew we were always meant to be friends regardless of what happened. We came together years later by pure connection. I was never meant to see a picture of her because I would have never given her a chance and we would have never been able to form a bond.
Appreciate life’s synchronicities. The coincidences in your days are trying to show you, that you are on the right path. People come into your life at the exact time they are meant to. They leave your life at the right time as well. So forgive those that leave, because you should not have to force any friendship. Friendships come into your life to teach you and to show you who are you.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

life is happening

Life is happening. We need to take the time to flow with it, instead of against it.
My goal for July was to allow things to happen and to stop forcing. Letting go of that control and knowing that everything is working out exactly as it’s supposed to. Whenever I feel the need to make plans, or force a situation, I realize that I am not allowing what’s meant to happen to come to me.
Plans change. Friends become busy. You can’t get upset at the turn of the events but appreciate the outcome. For what was always meant to happen will.
I am allowing myself to let go of trying to make plans slowly. Letting my weekends unfold how they should. Saying yes to opportunities as they occur.
I am agreeing to things that I wouldn’t normally agree on. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and releasing my anxious thoughts along the way.

I am the kind of person who makes plans weeks ahead of time and has everything planned out. Life happens and I need to be able to be part of the ride.
I am not going to go against the current any longer. I am here to ride the wave. Savor every moment that is presented to me. 
We lost wonder and discovery over time because of routines and growing up. We need to add them back by letting the days unfold as they may and living each moment with no expectations.

Monday, July 31, 2017

your body & mind are in need of recovery

I rarely say no to plans. I overextend myself often and feel exhausted each week. With a 9-5 job and a commitment to workout daily, my days are long and full. I become a weekend warrior and typically have after work activities planned, so that I am maximizing my every waking hour.
My body has been drained and hit empty this week. My immune system lowered and a bad virus plagued me for days. Sometimes your body just needs you to stop and do nothing, to feel the freedom of your mind resting. It's as if your body is sending you to detention, to sit and focus on being sedentary.

To wear your pajamas all day and watch a Star Wars marathon without moving from the couch. Listening to your body for what it needs to feel better. Giving your body hot soup to soothe your throat.

You are always on the go and sometimes you overwork yourself to exhaustion. Your body gives you signs by slowing you down and decreasing your energy. Mostly we ignore it and continue on with plans.

Your body and mind are in need of recovery. I called in sick from work and was now able to relax without worrying, planning, moving or grooving. I could just be still and care for myself.

Give your body the long Epsom bath it craves. Allow the movie marathon to commence. Put on your comfiest pajamas and socks. Provide your body with tea, soup and rest. Let your mind run free as your body manages to recover.

Its okay to say no to plans. Exhaustion and stress take a toll on you when you overextend yourself. Be aware of the signs your body is sending you. Provide yourself the time you need to recover. Clear your mind and give yourself love.

Monday, July 10, 2017

honeymoon with myself & ready for 27

I feel as if I am on a honeymoon with myself. All my beach plans fell through, but I promised my body the touch and the embrace of the salt water. So I drove to Captiva with all my windows down and the music playing loudly over the sound of the wind rushing through.
Set up my towel and went for a swim in the smallest bathing suit bottoms I’ve ever worn. As I swam my butt cheeks felt the slow toasting of the sun that it had never experienced before. My shoulders could feel the warmth of the rays. I swam farther towards the open water, I felt confident and happy.
Here I am at 27 and the best version of myself. Happiest and most comfortable I have ever been with who I am.
Single currently, but also not dwelling on that fact. This time I am being given is for me to fully fall in love with who I am. We are all so frightened to do things on our own and sit with our thoughts. Over the past year I have learned to cherish the time I spend alone to recharge and ground myself in life. Life is constantly happening quickly around us, and at times we need to take a moment to fully be present and appreciate where you currently stand.
Ignoring the social timeline and the expectations of where I “should” be at this age, because I have full faith that all great things in life will happen for me at the exact right time.
This year has been constant exploration, and this following year will continue. Slowly finding my passions, one curiosity at a time. Gradually stepping out of my comfort zone and releasing fear and self-doubt. I am able to stand boldly and now know not to play small any longer.
I am surrounded by so much love constantly. At times I don’t really realize the amount that surrounds me. Birthdays are always a reminder of all those you love reaching out and wanting to celebrate with you. The feeling I feel on my birthday where my heart is over flowing with love is the feeling I want to feel every day. That feeling is present with us all the time; it does not need to happen yearly but in each moment. Those around you want to celebrate life and be with you exactly as you are. You are loved exactly as you are. 
All of my friends are supportive and incredible. They make sure that I never feel lonely or struggle with a bad day. I have family that loves me regardless of how quirky, different and most of the times outlandish I am. Parents who support all my passionate ideas, even if they don’t agree because they can always see the fire in my eyes to succeed and create. Love can transform you. Surround yourself by nothing but love and you will feel like Christmas morning all the time. 
As I lay on my towel under the hot sun, I feel the strongest and happiest I have ever felt. I can feel my skin radiating with the happiness that has always been inside of me. Its as if I am finally able to see myself for who I was always capable of being. I can see myself for who I truly am.
Here I am on what seems to be my honeymoon with myself on my secluded beach, taking in all that this moment is providing. Allowing inspiration to come to me. Feeling empowered, positively happy & exactly where I need to be.
Plans changed from the expected, but I didn’t allow that to stop me from listening to what my body craved.

So 27, I feel ready for you! I am ready to live life to the fullest because I am exactly who I was always meant to be.