Wednesday, November 16, 2016

COLLEGE UPDATE - Post Election Thoughts

I will be writing this post in the form of a letter. I find it is easier for me to write when I feel like someone can respond back. Writing in a letter format also helps me to be more conversational in my writing and less structured. Hope you enjoy!



Hello Friends,

It has been two months since my last entry and I am truly sorry. I have been very busy with college life and never anticipated how strenuous my routine would be. Although I have been at school for 3 months, I am still adjusting to everything. I always feel like I am meeting someone knew or learning something different.

With the outcome of the election last week I thought it would be appropriate to publish something. As a form of self-care I write. Writing helps me to clear out my head and process what I am feeling. Although many people make fun of millennial for having a safe-space, I truly believe that having a space to process and breathe is very important for mental health. In years past I would use a diary to summarize my day and I would talk to my parents about small trivial things in my life. But if something ever really bothered me I would keep it too myself. I wouldn't tell my parents so they wouldn't have to worry and I wouldn't tell my friends because I didn't want to burden them with my problems.

Although I recognize that this is a horrible way of thinking and not in any way healthy, I never had a great self-care routine. As I have been going through college the last couple of months I have been finding ways to help me understand and process my thoughts. I talk to a close friend of mine. I talk to my family regularly. I also see a counselor every few weeks on campus. All these things have helped to contribute to a better state of mind.

On the topic of the election I am saddened by the results of the people. Although Donald Trump was not my first pick as the next president of the United States, it is what it is. I believe his campaign was intentional and he preyed on the ignorance of many Americans. I truly believe Donald Trump is not as deeply bigoted as he portrays himself to be. But this is not to dismiss all the horrible things he said against people of color, women, LGBTQ and Muslim people.

On the other hand I was not a big fan of Hillary Clinton either and if I am being honest I voted third party, And before you go on a tangent saying that I am the reason Hillary lost and now we have Trump. I just want to make one thing clear, I am not the reason she lost. I never wanted her to win. Since the DNC scandal surrounding the Primary election the democratic party was split; pro-Hillary and pro-Sanders. In addition to the party being split there are 11,000 Americans who wrote in Harambe for President. Why am I receiving backlash for voting for someone who was actually on the ballot as opposed to someone who wrote in the name of a gorilla who was wrongfully slain?

On that note I voted. End of story. As a woman of color, who historically were one of the last people to obtain the right to vote, I am glad that I got to the chance to register and use the power I had to make a difference. Although my candidate did not win, I still made my voice heard and made a difference.

Sincerely,

sobeelove

Live ~Laugh~Love

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Freshman Feels (College)


Written on August 19th, 2016
Today marks two days until I move into college and the rest of my life changes.....

Although the first line of this post may seem a bit dramatic, college is it's own different world with it's own set of rules and it's own culture. I deem myself very independent although I've never been away from my parents for longer than two weeks. I know how to clean and cook for myself, I understand and know what my responsibilities are.

But for some reason I can't shake the nervous feeling I get when I think about college and moving out. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm moving out of state for college or the fact that I hardly know anyone. Maybe just the fact that I'll be a significant amount of distance away from everything I know.

Although being far from home is exhilarating, it'll be great to have some freedom. But I think all my worries just boil down to change. i don't like change, people in general don't like change. It's not because I'm not open to new experiences, it's just that it takes me a while to be in a comfortable place with people. Throughout my years (in the social aspect) I've had so many changes and struggles.

All in all college is scary yet a wonderful experience.

September 8th, 2016
This week is the 3rd week that I've been in college and I have a lot to say about it, good things and bad.

First, I want to start off by saying that college is different than what I imagined in many different ways. At least at my school, the general vibe is pretty chill. Everyone goes about their business but everyone remains friendly and cordial with one another. My campus is very spacious, not too large or two small. Often times I find myself looking at people sitting or laying in the grass sometimes doing homework or talking with others, as I walk to my classes.

Second, there are other places to study other than the library. In all the buildings around campus you will find designated areas to study. Many places have chairs and tables set-up or have a comfortable nook with couches and then there is always a good spot out on the grass. There are endless places to go and find a place to study.

Third, it is hard to live in a place social and being academic coincide. Now this is not a bad thing it is just a matter of priority and self-control. Since college is nothing like high school everyone has different schedules spaced out throughout the day. You may have an hour class at 10am and not have your next class until 4pm, what do you do with the rest of your time? Well that's all up to you. There could be a club meeting at 12pm and you would want to get lunch at 1pm. Then you could hang out with your friends or do homework or watch Netflix. As you can see, in college there is no separation between home and school life they coexist but this is when your time managing skills will be put to the test.

Fourth, being college means no supervision, which means no parents, which essentially means no rules. Often times I find myself inhaling the foul smell of marijuana or tobacco in the late hours of the night. I live on the lower floor of my dorm building and find it utterly frustrating to know that there is no designated space for smokers on campus. I am opposed to smoking but cannot make someone stop but what I can do is suggest that they smoke elsewhere. Since there is no air conditioning in my dorm and I am forced to have my window open or risk the dangers of my room being a sauna. Also I have found that people in my dorm building must be sexually active because on two accounts I found condoms around the building. One in the elevator and one in the washer... Nothing is safe anymore.

Fifth, homesickness is very real, but very normal. I have experienced it a couple times in the few weeks that I've been here. College is a huge transition stage and no matter how hard you try you will feel some form of home sickness. I felt in the weight of missing my friends and my day-to-day way of life with my family. I have adjusted quite well but for me, I most dreaded having to make friends again in college and that's what I've been struggling with. Opening up and being vulnerable with people is a very hard thing to do but luckily I've put myself out there, joined clubs and have met some amazing people. I also call my family at least once a day to update them on my life.

Finally, trying new things can be scary at first but it ultimately is great in the end. Within the past few weeks I have been putting myself out there and trying new things joining different clubs and talking to cool people. I'm still finding my way around and I'm learning new things everyday but my best advice to anyone in college is to not be afraid. Don't shut yourself in your dorm in fear of all the great things your campus has to offer.

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Democratic National Convention: Day 3


A popular topic this year is the election for the next President of the United States. This year's election seems to be the most intense and most important election year to date. This year I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to cover the DNC through Motivos Magazine.

The last day of the DNC was great! Although I didn't get to go to the Wells Fargo Arena, one last time I attended an awesome panel. This panel was around the topic of diversity in the workplace. This panel as a diverse group of successful people and the room was full of very diverse people of color as well.

Panel Title: People of color; not just for Stock Photos

Whitney Tome
Executive Director at Green 2.0

Kaya Henderson
Chancellor of Public Schools for the District of Colombia

Jean Lee
President & CEO of Minorities Corporate Counsel Association

*These were just some of the panelists

Most people on this panel were women (which I love). Often times white males are plastered throughout the media. We rarely see successful women of color in the media and I just loved that there were a group of inspiration people gathering around and having a discussion on diversity.

This panel addressed many important topics but the main topic was the lack of diversity in the professional workplace. All the people on the panel were of different professions so there were a wide range of experiences with a common theme; no diversity.

While the panel was geared toward finding a solution many panelists came to the consensus that companies wanting to diversify their employees need to be intentional with everything they do. They need to be intentional with their recruiting and using their employees to their full potential and NOT just hiring to fill  quota. Also companies should be held accountable for the things they say. So many times companies will talk about diversifying their employment but all they do is talk.

Being a part of this panel filled me with hope and also made me realize that it is plausible for me to be successful in my field but it's going to take extra work.

And since this was the last day in Philadelphia it only made sense to go shopping. I went to gift shops and local stores. I had an amazing few days in Philadelphia and this is the most memorable thing of 2016 thus far.

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Democratic National Convention: Day 2


A popular topic this year is the election for the next President of the United States. This year's election seems to be the most intense and most important election year to date. This year I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to cover the DNC through Motivos Magazine.

I am not here to display my personal views on the election but rather share my experience about my first day and how YOU can become aware and educated to make an informed decision on who you want as President.

[pictured above Kendrick Sampson at Youth Council Meeting]

Today was a VERY busy day! This morning I started off at a media briefing near Penn's Landing with Steve "Buzz" Thomma. This briefing included special guests like Congressman Xavier Becerra, a representative of California's 34th congressional district. He spoke to an intimate crowd of people. He introduced himself and gave his thoughts on this election.

After the briefing, I headed over to the Convention center in downtown Philadelphia to attend an NDN (News Democrat Network) event. At this event, I got to hear Ben Ray Lujan speak. He spoke about taking back the majority and how we need to get people engaged in voting to turn this election around. I also heard Scott Goodstein talk about the power of social media and the impact it has on political campaigning.

The NDN event was very long with a compilation of various speakers but I unfortuantely had to leave to go get my State ID. And you're probably thinking, what? But yes, I did in fact, get my State ID during the convention, I was told that I would need this to enter the Wells Fargo Center. It took two hours of my life and a lot of patience. I actually didn't end up needing it to enter the center, *sigh* but nonetheless I need my State ID anyway so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

After the DMV, I headed back to the convention center and attended a Youth Council meeting. There was a panel in which topics like policy and having a political voice. At this meeting, a special guest Kendrick Sampson, an esteemed actor, graced the stage. He spoke about being a Bernie surrogate and about he toured New York and California talking to college students about Bernie.

[pictured on right Samila Amany a Bernie delegate from California]

Later that day I got to go to the Wells Fargo Center. I was fortunate enough to have a Hall pass, which gets you into the arena. Being in the Wells Fargo Center is such a unique experience. With so many people of interest at this security was heightened to an all-time high. There was secret service, local police, state police and heavily armed police.

I got to the convention center just in time for roll call. All the states varied in their support in Senator Sanders and Secretary Hillary. As we know Secretary Hillary Clinton is now the nominee for president of the United States.

With Motivos Magazine we were only given four credentials, so two hall and two perimeter. Two of us went into the hall and the other went into a media tent that was outside. Three quarters through roll cal we decided we should check up. We go outside into the media tent right when a protest is going on. Just to clear up it took us a while to find the media tent.


Apparently, after Hillary was nominated Bernie Delegates marched out of the arena. Some got organized and broke into the media tent. When I arrived there were a slew of people sat on the floor with banners negatively portraying messages about Hillary Clinton. The general consensus was that the ideology of Bernie Sanders is what we should be striving for. Also many protesters wanted to voice their opinions about the DNC stealing the election. This definitely was the highlight of the night.

All in all day 2 was a success! If you want to be more informed about the upcoming election and if you're a democrat I encourage you to check out these websites.



Two down, one more to go!
(I took a day off to organize all the information I've gotten 
and to try to cohesively write a good article)

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Democratic National Convention: Day In The Life



A popular topic this year is the election for the next President of the United States. This year's election seems to be the most intense and most important election year to date. This year I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to cover the DNC through Motivos Magazine.

I am not here to display my personal views on the election but rather share my experience about my first day and how YOU can become aware and educated to make an informed decision on who you want as President.

\

I live fairly closely to the convention, so I am traveling every morning to downtown Philadelphia. Today I attended the Hispanic Caucus, which is a meeting with political figures (that is open to the public) discussing important issues that need to be addressed in our country today. This caucus brought light to many things that are going on within the Hispanic community.


At this Caucus I got to see Rosie Perez, an accomplished Latina actress, who moderated a panel. The panel discussed several topics from immigration, zika virus and even the political state of Puerto Rico. As a Hispanic-American, this Caucus helped to educate me in areas that I wasn't even aware of.

One topic that was also discussed in the panel was about the distinct divide within the Hispanic Community. East Coast resides with a majority of Puerto Ricans and the West Coast with Mexicans. A point that was made numerous times, was that Trump is often criticized for calling Mexicans racial slurs. Within the Hispanic community, the divide comes with identity. Often times we are so attached to the nationality name that we forget that we are all in this together. 

We need to realize that when someone calls one Hispanic group a name, they are calling ALL Hispanics that name. We need to learn to mend this divide and address the key issues within our communities. This convention seems to strive to have a progressive message that strives for change.

Speaking of the Democratic message, I encourage you to look at the Democratic platform and learn about what the democratic party plans to reform, change and support.


Becoming informed about what your party stands for is crucial, knowing what you're supporting will make you informed person and ease your choice in who your are voting for.

I'll be back tomorrow, day one, three more to go!

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wanderlust

wan·der·lust
ˈwändərˌləst/
noun
  1. a strong desire to travel.



The summer of graduation, essentially the first summer of my adult life? I am left with an overwhelming feeling of wanderlust. I feel like I am obligated to travel and experience the world around me.

It doesn't help that in a social media driven world it is so easy for me compare with my peers and see that I don't lead much of a privileged life that allows me to travel to other countries. I only can live vicariously through Instagram posts and Snapchat stories.

I am however taking it one day at a time and discovering that I don't have to travel to a far distant land to enjoy my summer. Of course traveling to a far and distant land is preferred but not necessary. Countless times I have pointed out on this blog the importance of discovering your own hometown and finding everything it has to offer.

I recently just attended an event that was solely based around celebrating our town and all the amazing things it has to offer. A major street was blocked off near the town square. The street was full of local vendors in food trucks and stands. There were also two stages set up with live performers.

I had such a nice time with my friends and family walking around downtown, celebrating our city. Through this, I discovered new places to eat in my downtown area and I was made aware of some local issues. There were some political 'leaders' (not people running for a government position just local people involved with voting) who were handing out petitions and even voter registration forms, for community members to fill out.



Even though I won't be traveling to far away lands I will still be traveling this summer. This week I've already been to upstate New York to my college for three-day two-night orientation. I am highly anticipating this to be an eventful few days since this will be my first impression of the campus (yes, I accepted the admissions offer without visiting first).

Besides this being my first time in the town it was also the first time I interacted with my peers whom I will be living with for the next four years! I will do a blog post about orientations and I will also upload a list of what I brought and etc.

In late July I will also be attending a conference In Philadelphia! I can't say too many details yet (mainly because I don't know many of them) but it is very exciting thus far. This conference is a HUGE journalism opportunity and I am so excited for what results come from this.

If anyone else is having the fear of missing out (FOMO) on a great summer, don't worry! There will always be time to explore the world. Just remember that everyday is an adventure, you just figure out how your going to live it (at home on the couch with Netflix or outside in nature?).

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

On June 3rd 2014, this blog was born.


The past two years on this blog has been great. I feel that I have learned so much about myself and about the person that I am becoming. I have been able to develop my writing style through my various posts and I have been able to shape my content.

As I write about my personal life and things that I experience I hope to help others with their own personal journey's and allow them to know it's ok!

Although I have learned so much about myself I also learned about my values as I continued to write this blog over the past two years. My intentions started pure but in the end, I realized I wanted to make this a job and try to gain some revenue for my words. Instead of writing posts I would want to write things to gain traction to this site.

Honestly, it was a battle with myself because between school, church and extra curricular activities I always had this blog as a hobby NOT a job. Maybe in the future, I will invest money into a design and start boosting my rating by posting ads up on Google and Facebook. For now, this is just a blog for whoever wants to read it. And if you find value in my words please make sure to tell me!

Often times I find that I am writing to no one but I can see that someone is reading my content and if you are please tell me what you think, or where you're from or what I should write next! Any and all feedback is appreciated!

From now on I will continue to write posts wholeheartedly in hopes that whoever is reading is touched in some way; whether entertained by my stupidity or astounded by my bravery. Either way, I just want to write freely in hopes of someone reading.
___________________________________________________________________________________

This summer I am making the transition from high school student to college student. From teenager to adult.

I can't believe that an age dictates what I can and can't do in life. 17 years old I had no legal responsibility but now as an 18-year-old there are so many possibilities. Just to reiterate, I live in the U.S. so the legal age to drink is 21, so I still have a way to go for that (but I'm not one to drink alcohol). But with being 18 in the U.S. I can register to vote and I already have an I am highly anticipating the election day this November. I can also buy lottery tickets and I can make my own doctor's appointments (which is always so exciting).

I can say I am not ready for paying rent or bills, inevitable things that come with being an adult and jut general responsibility. All this seems pretty scary, but I am glad I get some practice during college.

Speaking about college, I just recently came back from orientation and had the best experience. I got to have a taste of what being a college student is all about (but without stress of school or actual classes). I got to get a good feel of the campus and visited the campus store more times than I can count.

All in all, I am glad to have had these 2 years with this blog and I can't wait for what the rest of this year holds and beyond.

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

STORYTIME: I TRIED GHOST PEPPER HOT SAUCE

This is the true story of how I was TRAUMATIZED from eating this hot sauce. I will try my best to describe what this hot sauce tastes like and the effects that came along with it!


Just some background on this pepper, it is technically known as the Bhut Jolokia. This pepper is an interspecific hybrid chili pepper. It's grown in India in the regions of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

Now onto the story how I encountered this pepper in hot sauce form....

*Warning there will be many things in CAPS because I don't know any other way to express the severity of this situation*

So a few weeks ago my family and I travel to a local tourist hotspot about 15 minutes away from our town. We go here because although it is a tourist hotspot, the whole place sells products that are locally made.

This place is a commercial village. And what I mean by this is it is set up like a village town with different shops in one area (think of a shopping mall) but instead of dull, identical buildings with a sign outside. Each shop is like a small house with its own unique flair or theme to match the items being sold.

So one of the shops sells various meats and cheese's, similar to the deli section at your local supermarket but imagine that it is a whole dedicated to meat and cheese. Keep in mind that I did say it was village-like so the store wasn't HUGE. It was just larger than the small deli counter at a grocery store.

Anyway this commercial village is known for having tastings for all of their food products. Three shops in the village allow tastings; the olive basin, jam & relish shop, and the meat&cheese. 

So the meat&cheese shop had cubes of cheese and meat to taste with a cup of toothpicks next to the containers. They also sold various condiments in the store; syrup, bbq sauce and hot sauce. Stacked up on a wall lined up ready to taste were the condiments. 

I saw the hot sauce selection and decided to approach (bad idea). I thought "I love spicy food, this should be fun". As I approach the sauces I see next to them their are tortilla chips (which I later found out had been a fluke. they usually have small crackers instead of tortilla chips).

So the tasting setup had the hot sauce bottle, a saucer with the sauce on it and a small teaspoon to spread on the chip. Me being the 'lover of spice' I decide to try ghost pepper. Having little to no prior knowledge of this pepper (or without reading the hot sauce scale that the store had hung next to the sauces which I later discovered when it was TOO LATE) I decided it would be a god idea to add a whopping 5 drops of this hot sauce onto the chip (VERY BAD IDEA).

I proceed to put the chip in my mouth with the excessive amount of GHOST PEPPER SAUCE on it. Immediately after inserting it into my mouth I turned to my mother and told her it was even hot.

A MILLISECOND LATER MY MOUTH WAS ON FIRE.

This is TRULY the most horrific yet exhilarating experience I've had with food. As I said I before I love spicy food so in a weird way i did enjoy the hot sensation of the pepper but since I put such an excessive amount I was not prepared for what was next.

After the initial sensation of fire that was traveling down my esophagus, I started to feel the effects of the pepper. After consuming the chip and all it's contents of the hot sauce, my throat and mouth were DRY.

Furthermore, as I tried to ease the pain of the scorching feeling in my throat I took large inhales. Everytime air passed through my throat, it felt like someone had taken a grater to it and was grating at my throat every time I inhaled air.

SIMULTANEOUSLY, as I am trying to somehow regain some moisture back into my throat and mouth by taking large gulps of air, I begin to feel my face become hot and tears start to stream down my face.

These tears were not caused by the fact that the moisture had been sucked from my esophagus or that it felt like my throat was being grated to bits every time I took a breath. 

THESE TEARS WERE INVOLUNTARY. 

This was truly an out-of-body experience for me. Anytime that I have ever cried, it was triggered by something and backed up by an emotion. These tears came out on their own with no warning. This was truly a cry for help from my body. 

Recap: My face is hot, there are tears streaming down my face and it hurts when I breathe.

At this point I am trying to find something to drink or anything that will soothe my throat. Then miraculously the man from the shop says to try the farmer's cheese, he said "it will negate the heat from the sauce".

I probably looked like a mad woman trying to look for this cheese (mind you this is a cheese and meat shop there were alot of cheese everywhere). After a few seconds I find the cheese, take two toothpicks and get as many cubes of cheese that I can and stuff them in my mouth like it I the first time I've seen food in weeks. 

At this point I realize two things: I can't taste this farmer's cheese and that the cheese does NOTHING.

So at the moment I am trying to leave the store because breathing still hurts and it feels like I can't get enough air in my lungs. Every breath scratches at the back of my throat and I keep having to wipe away tears.

As I am trying to leave the store my mother ask me what cheese I tried earlier and if I could show her where it is so she can try it.

MIND YOU MY THROAT HURT AND I HAVE TEARS STREAMING DOWN MY FACE.

So I ignore my mother's comment and tell her we have to leave and find me water because I cannot breathe (and you can only imagine how much it hurt to say this to her).

THEN SHE WAS FIGHTING ME & STILL ASKING ABOUT THE CHEESE!!!

So with nothing left to do I object and tell my mother that we NEED to leave. my throat is on fire. Then I grab her wrist and drag her out of the store and walk/run over to the building next door which is a cafe.

I see a line forming (it was noon so most people in the 'village' were getting lunch) and leave my mother at the door and run to the cashier and beg her for a cup of water, slightly cutting infront of someone who was about to order. I must have looked as terrified as I felt me because she looked into my eyes and gave me a cup right away.

I run to the soda machine to find an older man taking FOREVER to choose a drink. I couldn't wait any longer so I sort of shoved him, filled my cup to the top with ice and poured in the water.

I CHUGGED ON THAT WATER SO FAST THAT I ALMOST CHOKED ON A PIECE OF ICE.

Once that cold water touched my lips I knew things would be alright. I drank two more cups of cold ice water after that and then sat down. The ice water was soothing to my throat. I eventually regained moisture in my mouth about 2 minutes after drinking 3 cups of water.

Despite what people say the iced water helped to soothe the burning but I did not regain taste until 5 minutes of having the water.

And that was my story of eating ghost pepper hot sauce.

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rainy Summer Days

So earlier this month it had been raining on and off for about four days straight. Since I have been getting into photography I thought it would be a cool idea to go in my backyard and take some pictures. All the flowers have bloomed and I am using a very basic camera (not a DSLR) and I personally think the pictures came out great!





Check out my YouTube video!

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fear of Failure

I am a freshly graduated high school student. I am 18 years old and I am scared.

In a matter of months, I will be moving 200 miles away for college. I will be in a new environment with new people in a new town. Now, I am not scared because I'm moving and I'm not scared of meeting new people, I'm scared of failing.

It is the fear of failing that I'm scared of. I've always dreamed of becoming successful and having money to be able to provide for my family. Now that I'm at this stage in life, I find myself overthinking every little detail about my future and every outcome of every scenario is horrible.

I find myself second guessing my career path and if I'm truly going to suceed.

I am planning on studying journalism. Writing is something I've always enjoyed doing.

In elementary school I started a newsletter (5th grade). And I carried on this desire into middle school  (7th grade) where there would be biweekly distribution of a newsletter to all of my classmates. I gathered people who were interested, pretty soon I had a news staff and an advisor (our libraian Mrs.Fisher) that would help us print and distribute. My highschool already had an established publication but unfortuanelty it was a class, so I never could fit it into my schedule until this year.

Journalism, like many careers, is very competitive. Your success is heavily dependant on who you know. Networking is a very big factor when it comes to journalism. I am constantly hearing this and hearing stories of people who haven't been successful in pursuing this career. I'm not scared to push myself or put myself out there as a journalist. I'm just scared of who I am as a writer. I'm scared that I won't be what the 'real world' is looking for. That all of the things that I think I'm good at will come crumbling down around me and I'll find out I'm not as good as I thought.

Fearing failure is not something new. This is something everyone deals with. But I tend to get very anxious about these things. I start thinking about what my future will look like and despite all my efforts, what will the outcome be? I think and think and think and suddenly.....my heart quickens, the air seems to be leaving my lungs and my brain feels like it might explode.

I like to write because it's something I enjoy, it's something that helps me express who I am. That's the whole reason I started this blog. This is my creative outlet to spew all of the thoughts that have been racing around my head.

At the end of the day I'm human and gramatical and speling errors will happen but I just hope people capture the essence of what I'm trying to say.

I'm scared of becoming and adult. I'm scared of the respnosibility of having to take caare of myself. I'm scared of life.

These are the fears that I have. What are yours?

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Graduating High School


At this point, it has been five days since I graduated high school, and to be honest it doesn't seem real. It doesn't seem real that a place where I have learned about myself and grown so much as a person, is a place I will never attend. 

Over these last 12 years, I have been surrounded by the same people. Over the last 18 years, I have lived in the same house, same neighborhood. It amazes me that this large chapter of my life has now been closed. 

It may seem cliche, but these past few years I've been wanting school to end so I can go to college but I never realized what leaving high school meant. Leaving high school means that I have to leave my friends behind. I have to leave my sister behind. I have to leave my parents. 

Although college is new and exciting, it's an uncharted, new thing I've never truly experienced before. Sure I've been to cap during the summer, but that's only ever been a few weeks away from my family. I've also never really moved or been anywhere besides where I live right now.

A common theme of what I saw as people signed my yearbook was "to have fun and experience new things". In high school, I was very involved in clubs and school events but I was never involved socially. In college, I'm going to say yes more to going out to lunch or hanging out with friends. Although school is important it's also equally important to have fun.

One thing that I did not do in high school that I will definitely do in college is to be myself! The first few years of college i tried to blend in and become what the people wanted (which sucked by the way). It took me until senior year of high school to be myself and not care about people, and you know what? People accepted me for who I was! I have made so many friends in this last year than in the other three years of high school. And these people truly like me for me.

And to all my fellow classmates, I will miss you greatly. We will keep in touch. But this is our time to move on and discover ourselves, become who we truly are. these last 12 years have been practice for the real world. I know you'll be fine. You are the most ambitious, dedicated and hard-working people I have ever met. Your drive or your passions will get you far! Love you guys.

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Querido Papito....


Ama la gente que Dios te dio porque un dia el va necesitarlo paratras.

I wanted to write this blog post in Spanish to honor my late grandfather who passed on Thursday may 12, 2016. He was a man born and raised in Puerto Rico. He moved to the U.S. at the ripe age of 20 with my grandmother. They moved to the Bronx in New York State. For the next 10 years, they were back and forth between Puerto Rico and New York. Before they settled in the Bronx then moved to southern Pennsylvania where they eventually stayed. My abuelo wasn't the perfect man on the planet but he tried and did what he could. He was a great person to all of his grandkids. I know he is in a better place now.

For the past few weeks, he had suffered from strokes and had been in and out of the hospital. It wasn't necessarily a surprise that he passed but it still wasn't something that anyone was expecting to happen so soon. After his last hospital visit, he was put into a home where he could receive 24-hour care. Since he was placed in the home he didn't eat anything and just laid in bed staring at the ceiling. When we spoke to him he would respond but he didn't move much.

Years ago my abuelo suffered from an accident and lost part of his leg just below his knee. Ever since I can remember he's had a prosthetic leg. I have the fondest memory of one summer when I was about 4 or 5 years old. My grandma had bought a pool for all of the grandkids to play in. I remember I was in the pool with some of my cousins and my grandpa had come out to play with us and he took off his leg. I remember screaming and running away while he chased me and laughed. 

Years after this my abuelo was put in a wheelchair due to other medical complications. There was a brief moment where he lost his ability to speak, form words or sentences. These past few years my abuelo has endured so much and has suffered greatly. I am happy that he doesn't have to suffer anymore.

Te amo Papito.

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Part Seven: FAFSA and CSS



As you journey through your college process and figure out the do's and dont's of what to do there are many things, that are not told to you. Unless you are privileged enough to acquire a college counselor or someone who can help you every step of the way in the process I encourage you to do research and  ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS. Asking questions has probably been the most helpful thing. Just assuming something or trying to figure it out yourself is the difference between getting missing a deadline or gaining a wonderful  opportunity.

With the college process there are many things that are important but the most important is getting financial aid. Unless you are super rich or have had a college fund since you were born, you need to be meticulous about applying to scholarships and filling out all the financial aid applications.

As far as I know of there are two very important applications that need to be filled out for colleges to receive any type of aid. FAFSA and CSS profile. These two applications are universal in aiding students in the United States to receive some sort of financial assistance with college bills.

FAFSA- Free Application For Federal Student Aid
CSS- College Scholarship Services

The first and more commonly known, FAFSA, is a government application where you will list, describe and fill out a form detailing your financial status. With this application make sure to include ALL the schools that you applied to whether you've been accepted to them or not! Institutions base their aid from what the government is willing to give you. But keep in mind state affiliated grants and programs do not apply to you if you attend a school on another state (each state has its own financial programs and grants so the amount of money offered may vary).

The second and less known, CSS profile, is an application where you list every detail of your financial status. This is an application that many private colleges ask for because they typically have more money to offer their students and want to know what exactly your financials look like before they award any additional aid. This is a tricky application because some private schools do not require this. So it is imperative to know which schools need it and when they want it by. Whether it be FAFSA or CSS schools have their own deadlines, there is not one universal date that they all want it by. So my advice would be the earlier the better.

Some tips to help when you are filling out these applications
  • Make sure to set aside time to fill out these applications, they take a good 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Always ask for help, have someone that has done this before to help you as you fill them out.
  • List EVERY school that you applied to (all colleges on FAFSA, all private colleges who asked on CSS).
  • Make sure to know when deadlines are, missing out on an opportunity to receive aid from a school is not the way to go.
  • ASK QUESTIONS, don't be afraid! I have asked my school counselors numerous questions on every topic, I've also emailed many of my colleges admissions and financial offices. I've even called many of my colleges just to sort minor and major details out.
 After filling out these applications at a maximum it takes two weeks to process all the data and to award you aid, that's why I mentioned doing everything as soon as you can. Many times we have tunnel vision and think we are the only ones that applied to that school. You must be patient while waiting for these documents and responses from schools. Trust me, waiting is not one of my strengths. I was anxious and constantly checking my email and mail box. But once it finally came it put things into perspective.

Helpful Links:



Live ~Laugh~Love 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My First Launch Party!!!


I was invited to the Motivos Magazine Spring Launch Party yesterday and I had an amazing time! If you don't know Motivos Magazine is a bilingual magazine (English and Spanish) that is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a magazine that puts its value in informing people about the Latino community and culture. The magazine has four main categories that it focuses on Culture, Life, College and Career. This magazine prides itself on informing others and enriching and empowering youth around the country. The magazine is currently available in 37 states and over 900 schools! If you haven't heard or read this magazine I highly encourage you to go to motivosmag.com and order your own copy of the Spring Issue: Imagination Edition!


At the start of the party founder Jenée Chizick introduced herself to the crowd and gave background on the magazine and how it went from an idea to a reality. She then proceeded to show us a short video which was a compilation of clips of her speaking about the magazine and other students who were exposed to so many different opportunities through the magazine. I was very moved by everyone's words and the story and message behind what they are trying to accomplish and what they are accomplishing with their publications.

I really enjoyed how inclusive and open everyone was, even though the magazine is bilingual and promotes and informs about the Latino community. The publication itself is very inclusive in trying to showcase anyone who has drive and passion. This is very refreshing in a society where mainstream media is very superficial and idealistic. This magazine hits close to home because it discusses real and important issues while also showcasing real and talented people.

I cannot rave about this magazine enough. If you want to find out more, visit their website and follow them on social media! Instagram~Facebook~Twitter

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Part Six: College Acceptances & Rejections


So as of now I have been accepted. And rejected from colleges and universities. I applied to 8 schools; Emerson College, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, Hofstra University, Kutztown University, Shippensburg University, Temple University and Lebanon Valley College. I got accepted to all except for Syracuse University. Sadly I was rejected but I see it as a sign that I wasn't supposed to go there. But I also knew when applying that it was a reach school. A reach school meaning that I wasn't sure that I would get into it but there was still a chance.

As I am reviewing my acceptances I am so proud of myself. I am trying not sound self absorbed but I always knew college was the end game and its always been one of my goals. During this college process, I have been pretty much on my own. I went to my school counselor here and there for simple questions but I applied on my own and did all the research on my own. And I got accepted (and rejected) all on my own, with the support of my parents. 

Now all that's left to do is to pick which one to attend which is easier said than done! I'm currently waiting to receive back all my financial aid packages from all the schools and then making a decision. Although the deadline for committing to a college is near I want to make sure I am making the right decision, this is the biggest decision and investment I'm ever going to make.
Live ~Laugh~Love 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

JONAS BLIZZARD 2016

So a few weeks ago the northern east coast was hit with a blizzard. This blizzard caused me to have a whole week off of school. Since I had nothing better to do, I decided to go around my house and document the blizzard. Here are some of the pictures that I took......










Very amateur photography but I really enjoy taking photos and I know with practice I can get better! Hope you enjoy this!

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

THREE KINGS DAY


Three Kings day is a celebration that is very similar to Christmas.....but instead of Santa bringing presents it is the Three Kings that went to visit baby Jesus. This holiday is celebrated on the 6th of January every year. It is widely celebrated in Spain and Latin American countries. My parents are from the Caribbean, where this holiday is popular. We currently live in the United States where this holiday is not as popular or well known. So to get back to our roots I suggested last year that we celebrate this holiday.

Since my family does celebrate Christmas our Three Kings Day gifts are exchanged at a much smaller scale than Christmas.

This year I received a couple of items that I am so excited about....
The first being a ring/jewelry organizer. It is the elephant from Horton hears a who! He is in a lake and his nose is sticking out from the water. It is perfect to put all my rings on. Second I got a Christmas mug! The mug is in the shape of Santa's face. If you didn't know I am very into quirky things, so I am so excited to have a new mug in my collection. My sister gifted me a black tank top from Old Navy which I am so appreciative for.

Here are some pictures of the things that I got on Three Kings Day and also some of my favorite thing from Christmas!










Hope you had a wonderful Holiday Season!
Live ~Laugh~Love 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2015 had it's share of high points and low points but I am so glad to have a fresh start at a new year. Every year around this time people set resolutions for themselves, something cliché like eating healthier and working out more. Although some people have good intentions, the vast majority of people that set resolutions fail within the first couple of weeks in the year and fall into old habits. So in spite of all of that I have a list of goals that I want to accomplish before the new year ends.

1. HAVE A STRONGER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

I am a christian. I am of the Pentecostal denomination and I serve Christ. In the Christian religion we view Christ as more of a personal figure than some distant almighty being. Although his powers are great having a daily connection through prayer really helps to strengthen the spiritual relationship. this year I am going to start a Prayer Journal. I've done these in the past and find that they are so helpful for the mind and the spirit. As I believe the Lord hears our prayers, I think writing them down is helpful. I use as a way to unwind an talk about my day, almost like a diary except I know I'm not just talking to myself, I know he is watching over me and listening and reading my prayers.

2. DIVE INTO MY PASSIONS

I am very passionate about a lot of things; fashion, writing, art and recently photography. I always put my passions aside to focus on other things and I have recently lost sight of what i truly enjoy doing with my life. This year I want to improve my blog posts with better quality pictures and more content. I also want to get back into drawing. I'm not the best artists but I enjoying sketching things and creating something new. I LOVE fashion and want to start doing more fashion posts and reading up on some of the fashion legends and learning about their success. I've started to enjoy photographing things and people, I want to invest in a camera and start taking photos as a hobby and really perfect the craft. Although this may seem like a lot of things I want to do more of what I love.

3. Learn ASL

A few years ago I started watching Switched at Birth on ABC family. I was captured in all the drama but the one thing that hooked me on the show was the diverse characters. On this show they had deaf characters. Although I am no stranger to what deafness is, the show really captured me because up until that point I had never met a deaf person or interacted with them. After seeing a few seasons of the show I got curious about American Sign Language and ventured out to try to learn it. That Christmas I asked my aunt to find me an ASL book that I could read and learn different signs. I did a bunch of research online and found really cool websites. I now know how to introduce myself and sign my name. I also know other basic signs but after a while the adrenaline wore off and I haven't learned much since. This past week I went to the Starbucks at my local Target and the barista that was making my Peppermint Mocha was deaf. When she handed me my drink I signed 'thank you' and the smile on her face made me feel special. I know that learning ASL could prove to be an awesome way to interact with people and be introduced to a whole bunch of new friends. 

4. READ MORE

As I said before I have been focusing my energy on other things. Recently I have rekindled my  relationship with reading. I have loved reading since I was three years old! Being able to escape reality for a second and be totally entranced in another world is an amazing feeling. I honestly love reading and to combat my desire I have subscribed to a YouTube channel that's all about books! Abookutopia is a channel run by Sasha, just recently subscribed and it was the best decision ever. She does awesome book reviews, recommends great books and other bookish related things. I highly recommend subscribing!

5. COUPON MORE

Ever heard of the show Extreme Couponing? Well it is essentially a show where people abuse the power coupons by buying hundreds of dollars of food for just pennies (this is not an exaggeration). I started couponing 2 years ago, the same year I started my job and this blog. I wrote a blog post about the early stages of my couponing, although I am now an experienced couponer I stopped because it gets hard when you mix in school and extra curricular activities. Although couponing is time consuming, it is worth it. Since the summer of 2014 I haven't had to buy disposable razors for my household. Today I re-stocked and bought two packs of 10-pack razors for $1.80, before coupons the bill was at $6.40. Being reminded of the power of coupons made me realize that I need to make time for it because it truly saves you a lot of money in the long run.

6. MY YEAR BOOK

Just recently I was thinking how this is going to be on of the craziest years of my life. Transitioning from a High school senior to a College freshman in a matter of months! I want to document my adventures with my friends and the places and things I do with pictures. I plan on documenting my year with pictures I've taking and getting them printed (and hopefully get a camera that prints out Polaroids). I want to paste them into a bank book with plain pages (no lines) to decorate and write memories in so at the end of 2016 I can flip through and look at how much I've grown, what things I've accomplished and how far I've come.

I hope all of you all have had a wonderful start to your year!
Live ~Laugh~Love