Tag Archives: serenity

Remember when I longed for a warm scarf?

“Trade your expectation for appreciation and the world changes instantly” – Tony Robbins 

The sun was out, the wind was blowing and the day was still young in San Francisco, California. [Read the beginning of Day 2] We ordered a Lyft and headed straight to Mission Dolores Park located in the Mission District. Dolores Park was once a Jewish Cemetery and ironically it is one of San Francisco’s most popular parks.

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The park was filled with happy people, dogs and music. We picked a spot and just hung out for a bit looking at the scene and the clear blue sky. I only wished it wasn’t as chilly as it was but, we made the best of it. While walking out, we bumped into a few swings and of course, I took advantage. I absolutely love swings! 

After the park, we were off to explore the famous Mission District. Our first stop was Amnesia Bar. The bar was small and quaint. We sat on the stools, ordered our beers, and appreciated the live band playing Bluegrass. It wasn’t really our scene but we made the best of it.

A few minutes in and we realized how hungry we were. Our last Lyft driver recommended a Mexican Taqueria that apparently had the best tacos in San Francisco. Since we were only a few minutes away we figured it wasn’t worth ordering a ride. However, at this point the wind was becoming unbearable and we were freezing. Few seconds into the walk and all three of us were shivering, but somehow when we saw Xanath Ice Cream, Stephany and Damaris craved some. So yes, we had desert before dinner. They both ended up getting cones and I got the smallest cup available. The ice cream was really delicious so I wouldn’t say it was the worst decision made during our trip. After finishing our ice cream, we went back out into the freezing wind, not stopping until we reached El Farolito Taqueria.

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Steph, Damaris and I walked into a dark and sketchy place filled with drunk men. We stood by the door confused; I refused to eat there, even though Steph actually contemplated the thought of staying. **shakes head** Turns out we were in a bar and not the Taqueria. I was so relieved! I already craved tacos and I was extremely hungry. The line was long, the place was not that big, and it wasn’t the most sanitary. Oh well.

While waiting in line to order my two tacos and tostada, we encountered yet another man under the influence of drugs. At this point we all thought, “you’ve got to be kidding me!” Things got extremely awkward. I wondered if we could take our tacos to go, but eating outside was not an option…way too cold for that. Fortunately, after a few minutes of ranting about some girl, the man ended up leaving because they kept telling him to be quiet. Once we sat down it was all history from there. Goodbye tacos.

We were so full we didn’t think walking was possible but somehow, we were determined to do a bit of bar hoping before calling it a night. Remember when I longed for a warm scarf? Well as soon as we stepped foot outside, we all longed for a warm winter coat! It was insanely cold outside. The wind and chill was unbearable. We managed to make it to Cava 22 Bar. I was so cold I had no desire to even have a beer. Steph and Damaris ordered something to drink, but as soon as they finished we ordered an Uber to head back to Nob Hill. We fell asleep as soon as we reached our beds and wrapped ourselves with the warm blankets.

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Thursday welcomed us with a bright and sunny day. We had our morning mimosas and were ready to enjoy our last day in San Francisco. It was such a beautiful morning that we decided to walk to our first destination, the Full House, house.

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Not even five minutes into our walk and we decide to stop in a cute little coffee shop, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, for some tasty coffee. I had the Coconut Crème Javiva. I was extremely pleased with my selection as we walked and talked about our trip thus far. About 10min into our pleasant walk we came across St. Dominic’s Catholic Church.

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The church was absolutely stunning and we couldn’t pass the opportunity of checking it out. It was super peaceful inside. There wasn’t a mass going on so I took the opportunity to give thanks for the experiences and memories I was making. I also prayed for my grandfather who at the time was seriously ill. I’m not Catholic but I believe prayer is universal; it is received regardless of where it’s done.

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Finally, we reach the house of Danny Tanner and we were shocked! So everyone remembers the white house with the red door, right? Well that house no longer exist! The owners transformed the house completely [please refer to the picture above,] probably to confuse the tourists. Almost had us for a second too. I mean it’s a genius idea, but we were pretty bummed out by the transformation…[cue Full House theme song]

What ever happened to predictability?
The milk man, the paper boy, evening T.V

Everywhere you look (everywhere)
There’s a heart (there’s a heart)
A hand to hold on to….

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To be Continue…

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Not that long ago I had long hair…

Not that long ago I had long hair. Actually, I had processed long hair. Every 6 months I would relax my hair and make sure I killed my curls, what at the time I considered “bad hair.”

“Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I’ve ever been.”– Ian Thomas

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Let me start from the beginning. I am Latina; born of parents from the Dominican Republic. My mom has very curly hair and my dad does as well so naturally, I was also born with very curly hair. However, my hair wasn’t only curly it was thick! I remember I wore my hair curly a lot and that straightening it was a process my mom struggled with. One day I went to the hair salon and was told I was getting a “deep conditioning treatment” and next thing I know I had beautiful straight long hair. It was like that for the next 14 years, but don’t get me wrong, I still “curled” my hair…so I thought.

Fall 2012 I went to study abroad in Europe. My biggest concern was my hair. I have no idea how to straighten my own hair  (I still don’t.) I was so nervous because I didn’t know if I was going to find someone who knew how to manage my “processed” hair correctly. For the most part, every week abroad was a different hair stylist until, I gave up the last few weeks, and washed and go everywhere I went.

I learned a lot about my hair abroad. I realized that my hair wasn’t curly anymore. They weren’t coils, they were loose waves…kind of looked like spaghetti. Every time I relaxed my hair I killed my curls and damaged my edges. Throughout the years, every hair stylist I went to would tell my mom and I that I didn’t need a relaxer but, I was too obsessed with my straight hair to care. Abroad, I finally understood why I didn’t need to continue relaxing my hair…

My curls are beautiful!!

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It was time to become obsessed with my curls. It took me a few years to make the actual move but last year, I chopped a reasonable amount of my processed hair, and started my transition from processed to natural hair. With all the internal changes I was going through, I thought it would be the perfect time to get rid of everything that hid who I was. It was finally time to be ME! It definitely hasn’t been easy. There are days where I miss my long hair and wish my hair would just grow already. Then there are days were I am so happy I don’t have to straighten my hair every single week! However, I don’t regret my decision. My hair is healthier and stronger than it has ever been in the past!

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My transition still has some time before it is fully complete but I am changing with my hair. I’m cutting the bad out of my life, conditioning the good so it can get stronger and better and slowly growing into the woman that I am…because there isn’t anything else that I wish to be than Simply great!

Serenity

Dictionary.com defines serenity as the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil.
I was consumed by serenity yesterday when I went hiking at Ramapo Valley County Reservation.

The Ramapo Reservation is located in Mahwah, NJ with 19.7 miles worth of trails. The Reservation’s trails connect with those in Ringwood State Park to the west, Ramapo Mountain State Forest to the southwest, and Camp Glen Gray to the south.
(More Information on Ramapo Valley County Reservation

I think that we can easily forget how much beauty nature has to offer us. From the trees changing colors to the water shimmering in the sunlight reflecting nothing but perfection. I felt total bliss and was reminded that our problems, as massive as they may seem, are minimal.

My friends and I were astonished by the beauty we were surrounded by. I saw a live baby snake for the first time in my life.
Before we entered the park my friends and I saw a “Beware of snakes” sign, I immediately freaked out. The snake was so small and so harmless yet I couldn’t help but still feel some type of fear as I snapped my photo. Fear can be a tricky emotion but we have to always fight against it or else we will accomplish nothing. Fear was not going to stop me from capturing this moment… Mr. snake going about its day.

Will I move forward? Will I accomplish my goals? Will I succeed? Will I find a genuine love? I feel happiness. I feel unstoppable. I feel and see the possibility. I can conquer my fears. I can conquer my insecurities. But will I…? Right at that moment on top of that rock as my friends and I discussed our goals I felt that I would! 

Butterflies, to me, represent rebirth; the possibility to change and self-discovery.

Find a place filled with pure serenity and get lost in it. Explore what’s on your mind and knock down the walls you have built inside your head. Map out the impossible and prepare yourself for a difficult journey…but just like New York (pictured above on the horizon) your goal is visible regardless of the struggles you may face ahead. Fight your fears and don’t be scared of failure, pick yourself up and keep walking towards your goal… I know I will! 

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Just Breathe

Have you ever forgotten to just breathe? I mean to just take a second to sit down, stop thinking and simply just breathe

Today, I was reminded of how important it is to just stop everything and take some time to reenergize. I was reminded that there is such a thing as taking on too much.

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A few weeks back I realized that November is around the corner and that 24 is peaking through my window. I started panicking because I haven’t even completed half of My List. I quickly started planning the remainder of August. After I finished packing up August with plans, I took a few minutes to think about my year and realized that it has been quite a fulfilling year:

  • I saw three Broadway Plays
  • I had my five year high school reunion
  • I vacationed in Cancun (snorkeled and swam with dolphins)
  • I celebrated St. Patricks Day for the first time
  • I ran my first 5K
  • I got my first massage
  • I rock-climbed
  • I have read three books
  • I roller-skated (I thought it would be a huge fail but it was amazing)
  • I partied on a cruise with friends
  • I took GRE prep courses
  • I went wine and cheese tasting
  • I went to a concert

Of course, after I wrote this down and took a look at it, it didn’t seem like enough. For the next few days, I started juggling so much that I was practically walking around holding my breath. Every second of my day my mind was racing with something I had to do or needed to do. 24 hours just wasn’t enough; everything needed to get completed as soon as possible.

Then my friend sent me this, “Never give up on something you really want. It’s difficult to wait, but more difficult to regret.” This really made me think… Why are you rushing? What’s the real problem? I let those questions sink in and today received this advice…don’t take on too much to the point where you jeopardize everything you have been working for…prioritize and don’t forget to take a moment to just relax. Funny, because not that long I was asked when was the last time I relaxed. I didn’t have an answer. For the rest of my afternoon I sat on my backyard, with my grandfather, and simply read my book as the wind caressed my face. I was finally breathing.

I decided that for the rest of the week I’m going to just focus on the first task at the top of my list and take it from there. It’s easy for me to forget that the only person on this journey with me is ME. I need to focus on what I am doing and not rush to catch up with everyone else. It’s easy to get distracted and be consumed by the idea of “catching up to others” or “feeling left behind” but the real triumph is staying true to your journey and working towards your goals at your own pace.