If you’re wondering where I’ve been these days…

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The past month has been a whirlwind of emotions. A recent job termination/org restructure brought about change that put me into a, let’s say, long vacation. It happens everyday and you just pick up the pieces and move on. I closed an amazing chapter with amazing people, and there’s no doubt the past three years have been the foundation of my career.

At 24 years old, one is eager to start their career and see what the world of their field has to offer. Lucky for me, I entered this workforce thing a little earlier than some, and have been granted opportunities that people are just now looking at. There are no words for the knowledge I acquire now. I am a lucky one.

As most of you all now, the past year and a half I’ve spent the day being a working woman and I’ve spent evenings being a graduate student. People would always ask what I was working towards…what I was going to do with my Master’s degree? To tell you the truth, I don’t need it, I just want it under my belt. Attending graduate school has taught me more about myself than my field. I’ve discovered my true passions and met people who aspire to achieve similar goals and have interests that align with mine–beautifully.

There’s no doubt that the stability of a job brings about many things, many blessings, but so does that of finally getting the opportunity to take a break and do what you love. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks sleeping in, doing yoga and enjoying life…finally having time to check off summer bucket list items. But, I’ve also spent time evaluating what I want to do with my life, though at times not up to me. We can’t control change, but we can control our attitude towards it.

With the sense of relief and drop of commitments that came with this change, I’ve decided to put my career on hold and dedicate the next six months to being a full time graduate student and doing independent studies researching the Latino community, the political sphere within that community and how media plays a role for Latinos.

Right now I’ve chosen to be happy and do what my big heart desires.

I have the rest of my life to work.

23: Trying To Get It Together

23 Years young— I’ve learned so much, yet nothing at all. I’ve spent a whole year telling people about my post-grad story every time they ask what I’m doing with my life. Some people don’t get it, others do the normal, “That’s great, mija”.

It’s been a little more than a year since graduation and almost a year since I took my first job. You know, the one where I was the “Super Intern”…there’s a new super intern by the way.

Anywho, this year has been absolutely life-changing. I’ve made new friends, lost a few, and basically I’ve spent the whole year “trying to get it together”. However, I think I’m slowly learning that I will just never get it together, because getting it together implies I’ve learned everything, I’ve got it down. So, yeah…No.

One year after graduation, I’ve learned from my mistakes, my decisions, my experiences and those of others. I grew up, kind of, and continuously hoped I was doing everything right, whether it was for my personal life or career path.

I learned it’s okay to terminate toxic relationships. You are allowed to walk away from any situation that no longer serves you.

You are allowed to feel hurt, angry, disturbed just as much as you’re allowed to feel happy.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation for the things you do or the things you don’t.

To get through to someone, you can’t scream at the top of your lungs. It just won’t happen. My horoscope once said sometimes you get more attention with a whisper. People strain to hear you when you’re whispering.

The IT Guy taught me to live day by day. Never break what’s not broken. If it’s going good, there’s no need to stop it. You don’t want to wake up one morning thinking you didn’t enjoy the day before, because things end and you don’t want to carry the burden that you didn’t live up an experience to it’s full capacity.

However, I’ve learned to think of the future. I learned the importance of planning for tomorrow, because it keeps you sane.

I learned that even living day by day, you carry a burden. Maybe not one of regret of living up the full experience, but the burden that maybe everything you did just wasn’t enough.

But nothing’s forever.

The best friend who moved to a place you’d never expect—well, she taught me a lot. She taught me that at 23 years old, a career can go 0 to 100 real quick, but that anyone is strong enough to handle it. Rumchata to start your day, tequila to end it.

There’s nothing we cant’ fix; there’s nothing we can’t handle in the workplace

You have to feel what you feel, because saying it’s going to be okay so soon never helped anyone. Sometimes it’s not okay and it won’t be okay right away—and that in itself is OKAY.

Even in a place you know nothing about, you can make new friends.

You have no control over the choices others make. You only have control over your emotions, your decisions.

Your reaction to a situation is everything.

The way people treat you is not a reflection of you, it’s a reflection of them.

Maya Angelou taught me that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Surround yourself with people who are truly going to lift you higher. Don’t waste your whole life living the same year over and over again.

The guy at Specs taught me it was okay to live a good life. It is okay to enjoy it.

YOLO isn’t for everybody, and you learn it’s true meaning.

The two dollar margaritas taught me to always buy top-shelf, no matter how much you are paying because nothing is worth what you will be paying the next morning.

My Nashville homie taught me wearing sunblock is key. 30s going on 20s. Plus, to always remember we aren’t 5. We are grown ups.

Drake taught me that it’s okay to miss home. You know just when you thought you were sick of home, you’re homesick.

Canada made me realize I now have a job, since that trip was fully funded by uh me. Also, budgeting has been key this year.

The super intern taught me to “Man Up”. Coming from her, you know it’s real. She taught me to enjoy life, every second, every minute. She taught me that pursing dreams was happiness. That doing what you feel to be right is happiness, even if other’s do not believe that to be so.

From the ex college roommate—You deserve better always even when you think you have the best.

From the Boss— there’s probably too many things to reflect on. But basically, everything is going to be okay. It’s okay to move your cheese. Change happens and it’s okay. It’s okay to express confusion. It’s okay to speak up. It’s okay to feel the need to say no.

From the new team player: Your issues are not big enough to complain about. There’s always someone else fighting a tougher battle. Feel what you feel but never let it distract you from the things you should be doing to move yourself forward.

Never give up, especially on yourself.

Know yourself, know your worth. #DRAKE

From the family— Life’s tough, but blood is strong. Blood is thicker than water, always.

If you don’t like something, change it. You’re not a tree, so MOVE.

From the one in a state of confusion, don’t wait for time. Make it.

You can’t wait for love. You gotta feel it.

You can’t wait for the path. You gotta find it. Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.

Don’t run for life. Embrace it.

Life doesn’t have to be hard. Few know this. Most people think they need to fight and struggle. Not so. You can let life unfold. The secret is to focus on what you want, do what you can to make it happen and trust the process. Yes, life can be hard. But if can also be easy. The difference is how you look at what is happening to you.

The choice is YOURS.

You are pretty freaken awesome, keep it up.

In this life, people will love you and some won’t and none of that will have anything to do with you.

Don’t give up on someone who hasn’t gave up on you. But don’t feel sad over someone who gave up on you, feel sorry for them because they gave up on someone who would have never given up on them.

It is what it is. You accept it and move on.

If someone shows you their true colors, don’t try to repaint them.

Success isn’t what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you inspire others to do.

Lupita Nyong’o taught me no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.

Sometimes you gotta save your own little heart.

The bad news—nothing lasts forever. The good news—nothing lasts forever.

You can’t change people, but you can always change how you feel about them. Just love them.

We are all a little broken and that’s okay.

Sometimes, all we really need is for someone to say they believe in us.

Time decides who you meet in life, your heart decides who you want in your life and your behavior decides who stays in your life.

There’s such a thing as unexpected happiness. Even for short periods of time.

Things will usually get worse before they can get better. But just remember when they do, who put you down and who helped you up.

If it’s not a F yeah, it’s a no. But know the difference and don’t act too quickly.

I spent a lot of time searching for affection in shallow spaces. I gave people bits of me they didn’t deserve and let myself be hurt because I thought that’s what I deserved. But I let go of trying to shove puzzle pieces in places that did not fit; i let go of all the hate I secretly had stored. I learned I just had to Accept what happens.

Morrie taught me sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too—even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling.

Never give up, never walk away from something that feels so real. Do not fear that it is too good to be true. Do not fear that something so good cannot be happening. Don’t fear it will take away from the life you are living so much it will make it bad. Give up when something goes wrong, not when it’s going so well. Because good things happen and happiness follows.

SI QUIERES SER FELIZ, SÉ.

No one quite has it down.

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My big 13 things of 2013

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“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

As I close out 2013, I’m going to do what everyone else does this time of year…reflect on the year. You know, accomplishments, realizations, memories, stuff I wish to remember and stuff I probably shouldn’t. The list goes on. It was a big year for me with a whole lot of changes. But let me tell you, it is a year I will gladly look back on.

  1. I turned 22 and was finally on the same page as Taylor Swift.
  2. I attended sxsw for the first time and met some amazing kick-ass people.
  3. I graduated college with a degree in communication, specialized in Public Relations and Advertising.
  4. I landed myself a job after a long internship with a local nonprofit.
  5. I applied to graduate school. Got into my dream schools- NYU and USC.
  6. However, I decided to stay local and attend graduate school in San Marcos.
  7. Found out I have a ton of loans because I chose a private university for my undergraduate then I was like, “YOLO”.
  8. Went through some rough transitional period after graduation, which I got through alive.
  9. Became a Snapchat addict.
  10. Instagram made me a great photographer.
  11. Made new friends, left bad ones behind, rekindled friendships, became closer to others.
  12. Decided that I loved making avatars of people. #GraphicDesignStuff
  13. I became obssesed with HBO’s Girls.

Well, there’s my interesting life. I’m sure my mom would have a few to add since she thinks everything I do is a milestone or something…because that’s just human nature for a mother.

Cheers to knowing 2014 will be a hell-of-a-year!!