Monday, February 28, 2011


There are six and a half billion people in the world today, but I am still me. Amuse me and avoid the generic questions as to who I am as a person, with interests and characteristics combined and conjugated to create the insides of my five foot four stature, because I have yet to answer the question for myself. I can sit here and dissect traits that I have inherited, those that I have acquired. I can sit here and explain my background with facts and figures. Can the superficial qualities I reserve for the acquaintances I mingle with be accounted for inspection because, really, that is a part of me that many associate my name with. I consider myself a superhero of the modern world for I have three identities to suit different standards for different groups to avoid unnecessary drama: Mika, Michie, and Michelle. They are all very real people to those I perform to; all absorb knowledge from the outside world and integrate it into my developing mentality.
Mika (ME-kuh) is the girl that everybody loves, plain and simple. The definition of learned gender, the experiment of theory on socialized young women, and the girl assigned different by society norms that creates half of the attention. Mika is who I introduce myself as when I am making a contact, when I run into someone that I might need a favor from later in life, when I have no desire to become more then small talk conversation to them. She is the girl who gradually developed throughout the harsh teachings of adolescence living in a big city dominated by an exotic culture as described by the rest of the country. She is the giggle and the wink that seeks mischievous adventures, gossiping in Spanish to enhance the effects.
Michie was borne out of claiming sincerity and care. Michie, (ME-chi) is harsh against the ears compared to its elongated form, but usually lingers off the tongue since used only during intimate occasions. She peeks out of the shadow only when called upon by dear friends and family. She is the shy young child with the big laugh, polite and polished poise, raised by old-fashioned, respected-in-society Argentine parents. She is home, she is comfort, cozy and cute hidden amongst the overstuffed pillows on giant sinking sofas with a drink in hand at small get togethers for the holidays.
Michelle is the number to society, the taxes, and the winning vote. Printed legibly on official documents, asking to sign hereHEREandhere. She gets called during attendance and converses with the adults. The healthily insured classified by the professionals as “Young Hispanic Female, 5’4, 100 lbs, Bi-polar” in order to keep the sessions coming. A natural accident, happily welcomed into the family with a seriously sweet name just in case the decision to deviate from the traditional woman role arises but pretty enough to be begin from the throat and float from the mouth into the surrounding air alluding to classic femininity. Her vocals become higher in pitch while words are said with a smile to deter from the double-sidedness of the name for she is the same girl who is called when despair flows within the body. Hysteria allows for the whispering “Michellllllle” to ease the spirit.
So what is my gendered identity? It is Mika, it is Michie, it’s Michelle, each shaped into different characters with the same underlying goal. Throughout life I have come to learn the simplest path to my own happiness is to allow for those surrounding me to believe they are flawless so I inspire their self-esteem and transform to their norms, to their ideals while I can still get the thrill of adventure and truth. I know I am not just what name rings to my ears each time but the completed frame of three ideologies combined to form one complete, whole, constantly learning, always transforming being, because people, society, and the world never stay static, so why should I?

-Women's Studies Final, Fall 2006

Sunday, February 27, 2011

This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object

I don't even know where to really begin to sum up the conference. To say it was empowering is an understatement. I had intended to write up the notes I took but I'm distracted, behind, and just want to touch on a couple of points. I know I'm not doing it justice but I also don't want to burn out my ideas considering I still have to write the paper.

The theme for the weekend was Indigenous Voices: Witnessing the Wisdom of our "Elders". The elders on the panel included Joe Ponterotto, Jean Lau Chin, Teresa LaFromboise, Thomas Parham, Joseph Trimble,  and Melba Vasquez. All of them quite literally made me cry at several different points. Looking back, I think what made me so emotionally connected to the speakers was the fact that they are all minorities who overcame their struggles despite the odds.

There's a mantra I follow which Dr. Parham brought up: we must contextualize our struggle. The fact that stuff happens is inevitable, but it's how we look at it that makes the difference.

haven't had the easiest life. Compared to many, I had barriers growing up with few privilleges. But it could have been worse. I'm known within my circle for being the "outspoken feminist" though I can't say I believe the label. I'm blunt, independent, and not afraid to speak my mind when they try to step on my toes. But I always force myself to put my situation into perspective.

I've made it quite far, thanks to my mom. And every panel member declared their mother as the protagonist in their stories. Mothers who advocated for education, for independence. Despite the difficulties I had with mine during my teenage stint, I've always looked at her with the same admiration. I don't remember much of my life before the age of seven but I vividly recall her always telling me to do the same: get an education, be independent.

My roundabout point is to remember roots- both family and chronicled histories. Because we are nothing without our pasts no matter how hard we try to fight it.

Melba Vasquez closed with, "we're here for you to stand on our shoulders just as we stood on the shoulders before us and for the next generation to stand on yours." Thank you.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Keep on keeping on

Yesterday I whined about exorbitant conference fees. But in all honesty the speakers and presenters are phenomenal. I believe I've learned more in this conference about multiculturalism and myself (even as a racial-cultural being), than I have during the course of my studies.

I have so much to write about the experience. But I'm going to save that for tomorrow when I have more time to process the entire experience. Instead, I'm going to share another one of my all-time favorite songs.

Four Tet- As serious as your life.

If I were to have theme songs playing in the background of my life, this would be on repeat. If there was a video camera inside my brain, this is probably one of the songs that would always be in the scene. This song is me: the rhythm of my thoughts, the electric pulse of my emotions.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Midterm season is always unnecessarily hectic. I don't understand the point of purposely assigning all major exams and papers within the same period. I mean, doesn't it end up being stressful for the professors too?

My brain is kaput and I've just started. Today I was forced to attend a "multicultural conference" that requires attendance tomorrow as well. Interestingly, they make attendance a requirement for course credit (1 course= $1,300) in order to graduate. But the conference is open to all and any individuals in the country for about $300. It's a bit unfair that we have to pay a significantly higher amount for something we're forced to attend and then have to write a 10 page paper on. Ohhhhhhh academia.

On a positive note, it's midterm season! Meaning the semester is halfway over! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Let's take a nap.

This is my lovely bed. And my BFF Mr. Pillo, who is 22 years old. Every night I greet my bed with open, gracious arms. Ready to be engulfed in it's comfort. Tonight, I am especially eager.

"Poem of Low Latitudes"- Mike Dockins

Let's crumple calendars,
smash watches.

Let's throw ropes around the Moon,
never stop swallowing its linens.

Let's recline the way the horizon does, 
every evening, yawning across Tropic lines.

Let's fill a hammock with limes.

Let's fall asleep on the reef,
stare up through clear water at trembling stars.

Let's climb a coconut tree & squeal like monkeys.

Let's ride a trade wind like paper airplanes.

Let's watch the sky wheel & wheelfrom under straw hats.

Let's count a billion stars,lose track at a billion minus one,
then start over, until we glitter with white sand.

Let's tumble together until the earth is flat.

Let me sail like Magellan into you,unfold the maps of your roundness.

Let's hope for the volcano.

Let's reinvent the godless universe ballooning.

Let's crawl into a conch shell & bang on a bongo.

Let's build a bonfirethat boils away the atmosphere.

Let's sublimate, evaporate, condense.

Let's get drunk on the real stars—
helium engines strummingour own cores to a glow.

Let me wear your warm skin.

Let's simplify: skin, nerve, synapse, nucleus, hydrogen, quark, the unpronounceable....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Be vulnerable.

Brene Brown- The power of vulnerability

"Learn to lean into discomfort"- BB

Great, enlightening talk. I realized just how overly vulnerable I am which, leads to the opposite effect of shutting down. I know it's a common scenario- we get hurt too much and too hard and in turn decide to avoid being available to others. Unfortunately this eventually leads to being unavailable to ourselves. At least in my case.

Funny, it took a few minutes of this video to help me realize that despite being in grad school for 1.5 years where I'm supposed to become aware of myself. Or I can say that thanks to the prodding of my academic program it has led me to the insight achieved by this clip; drove thought into action and mirrored my internal frame of reference into my external reality.  Yes, I'll stick with the latter.

Here's to being vulnerable.

Monday, February 21, 2011

optimal oasis

South Beach, Summer 2006
I'm a nature-oriented person. I may not hike mountains or go "real" camping. But I photosynthesize off greenery, thrive off of fresh air.

It's snowing outside. My body jumped awake when I sleepily opened one eye at 4:30 and noticed the white sheet covering the sky leaving a pinkish glow. I'm excited. For a minute I thought there wouldn't be any more snowfall this season. Especially in the city, snow helps remind me that it is a sentient culture, that we're not simply living in a robotic consumer-driven snow globe.

I need nature. To ogle, to feel breathing on my skin, to remember to be alive.
Three Mile Island, Harrisburg PA, 2008
PA Back roads, any-burg, PA, 2008
Miami Sunsets, 2005
Snow Stars,  Camp Hill, PA, 2007

"optimal oasis"

photosynthesis-like soul
sprawled amongst a netted bliss:

honest ground kisses deep roots
guiding branches towards the north,
panoramic perspective beams
glittery sunshine, blazing
kaleidoscopic patches against closed eyes.

masturbating senses marinate in
longing as serenity sedates
the current state of being.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you- Jung

I'm not going to write about how I've found two crucial flaws in my paper (1. not actually including  the theoretical perspective in the conceptualization 2. not addressing multicultural issues)  over the past 24 hours after thinking now twice that it was finished.

Or about all the readings I have to catch up on for my classes because of working on said paper.

Or the fact that after a month and a half of being "disabled" with a knee injury I was able to go to the gym and not whimper in pain (I'll see how I feel tomorrow...)

Instead. I'm just going to share my love for this song. A love so deep that held it as my ringtone on my old phone for five years on that precious, old school Blackberry pearl. A love that lights my day, my mood, and my overall thoughts whenever I hear it.

After all, lovin' is what I got!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Listen to the pauses in people's speech. There, often, is where the message lies.

I've twaddled the majority of the day away trying to decipher whether copying my own words constitutes as plagiarism. Why? Because my thesis/"Special Project" is a case study. Which involves a case conceptualization. Which I wrote about one specific client twice last semester because he was my longest and most consistent client therefore I've had the most to write or rather, conceptualize about him. I have yet to come to a confident decision on the matter. But considering the thin ice I'm already on, I will tread against the simplistic (read:amazing) copy&paste function and reword my previous papers, some how.

I mean if you think about it, it's a bit unfair considering I finished up my fieldwork last semester and thus have no new clients to write a decent conceptualization on!

I thought about writing about my semi-recent foray into NYC-driven consumerism due to having to buy a new smart phone ( I strongly dislike that term. Just ups the ante of technology becoming too persona-fiable). But that's a whole other sheboggle.

Instead, some interesting reads:

For the anti-scholarly-article-read: Does Insight in Therapy Equal Happiness?

And for the therapy enthusiasts particularly interested in Humanistic & Positive psychology (who would have thought the two "happiest" mediums were at each others throats?) : What is the Good Life?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wake up kids, you've got the dreamer disease

Ever since I can remember I have had serious sleeping problems. Bordering on insomniac tendencies.

For the most part my sleep patterns mimic my mood patterns. I'll go 1-2 weeks where all I think about is sleep. Once I hit the mattress (or couch) I instantly conk out until the next morning. My alarm tries its best to do its duty once the sunshine comes around but it's usually unsuccessful. The other half of the month I spend dreaming about dreaming. I may fall asleep easily but I wake up with this intense need to rise at 3-3:30 AM and am unable to sleep again till the sun rises. It's pretty annoying- particularly in the short days of winter

My point about disclosing this was to go on about how I'm a morning person. Even when I sleep 2-3 hours a night. There is nothing I enjoy more than starting my day while every one else is fuzzily comatose. The mornings excite me. Night comes around and my brain is tired, my eye lids droop, and the level of my whineyness hits maximum potential.

So I don't know why I keep trying to post at night. It sucks. I sit at the screen and wonder why I'm doing this to myself at this time of night. To hold true to my resolution! But forcing myself to write isn't doing much for my motivation. Not to mention the fact that I wanted to do this to improve writing, not just whine.

We'll see. We'll see.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

Wednesdays have never been a super day for me for one reason or another. This time it specifically revolves around the fact that I don't get out of class until nine. Which is kind of ridiculous. Even though the professor is pretty amazing. Nine is just ridiculous.

Plus, I'm just making excuses because I slacked off most of the day after I finished the majority of my thesis. I had all the intention to write before bed. But I passed out watching Dilbert episodes on Netflix (who knew Dilbert had a series in the late 1990s?!?).

Today, I did what every (read: most) female New Yorkers dream of doing at some point in there city existence: I went to the Barney's Warehouse Sale. So I left empty-handed, at least I ventured over and can now check that off of my superficial bucket list of things to do while still living in the city. Honestly, maybe it was because we went so late in the afternoon, but there was nothing worth dropping "sale" money on.

And as we made a pit stop at Better Burger so I could pump some iron, protein, and overall fatty grass-fed, free-range hormone-antibiotic meat into my system since I've been re-suffering my "pseudo-epileptic episodes" and need to monitor my diet, Andrea was offered the job at the hospital she applied at thanks to her soon-to-be sister-in-law.  (run-on much?) Only Andrea can land a high-paying, part-time job with amazing benefits at a coveted hospital within five days of a spontaneous interview. And honestly, that's part of the reason I love her so much.

We ended the afternoon with a celebratory drink at some random pub in the Penn Station area. We use to wake up and celebrate the day with a "breakfast of champions" which consisted of a 12-pack of beer poured in coffee cups split between us. Now with responsibility and a not-so-up-to-par bodily system I gave her the Appletini I ordered to ching-ching with and sipped on a delicious Magic Hat #9.

I always enjoyed Thursdays.

Andrea's Celebratory Toast, Penn Station, February 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Universal ethics (?)

Morality. It's one of those concepts that lacks a prescriptive answer. Most of us know the universal taboos. And some of us venture into the negative realms despite knowing better.

While I've been looking through my books and old notes for the sake of writing this paper, I came across some concepts I bolded, capitalized, and underlined all over the place. Why? Because this relatively simple concept does not apply solely to the mental health profession.

Ethically speaking- not legally, we are "required" to take four questions into account when making a serious decision. Looking over the questions I realized how universal they are. Would I not ideally think about these ideas before doing anything rash? Honestly, now I would but 20 year old me probably not so much.

Remley & Herlihy (2010) asks us to consider four self-tests before making a final decision or once it is made:
            1) Think about justice—Would you treat others the same?
            2) Would you suggest someone else to take similar action?
            3) Would you be willing to have others know how you acted?
            4) Do you have lingering feelings of doubt or uncertaininty about what you did?
One of the aspects that initially drew me to psychology way back when was the fact that it's all-embracing knowledge.  I might quadruple my bank account as a business major, but have no idea how to relate to others. Knowing about basic mental processes can be beneficial in any situation: in intimate (or not so much so) relationships, at work, when reading etcetc.

Yes I whine and complain about school sometimes. But I love learning. So I copied these questions down and put them up on my inspiration board. Maybe it'll help me curb the random bursts of selfish jealousy that creep up on me.

Because in al honesty, if I can't apply concepts to my own personal life, how am I supposed to be able to help others with theirs?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Manic Mondays

Today was a weird day. For every positive event that happened an equally negative one would occur within a short period of time. I'd get so full of happiness and then BAM! Bad news struck... over and over again.

But one thing that happened today cannot be taken back. Despite occurrences and emotions, this one will stick. Today, I picked up this:

Master of Arts en passant, Teacher's College 2/14/11
Yes, that's right. After a completing 45 credits and a 30 page comprehensive exam I was given this rather large and expensive piece of paper. This means one down one to go. When (if) I ('m) allowed to graduate, I'll then have my Masters of Education- a whopping 60 credit (but mine is worth 62!) title. That also means I have to successfully finish the "Special Project" which is essentially a thesis due this upcoming Monday... that they just handed out today. Funny thing is this paper doesn't say anything about what the degree is about. Makes me wonder what the reasoning behind the vagueness is...

Ahhhh academia. The politics are persnickety but it feels darn good to have something to prove my efforts thus far. 

This is dedicated to my Mom, my best friends Soraya & Andrea, who are always there to listen to my cries, and Jonathan- who's ridiculous patience has been the muscle holding me together the past year and a half.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Knowledge is when you learn something new every day, wisdom is when you let something go every day"- Emerson

I'm too distracted to write anything of meaning thanks to the Grammy's and that odd performance by Dylan &Mumford&AvettBrothers. Not that I particularly have any useful insights this evening. Anyway...

Instead, here are some short snippets of wisdom. All of which were taken from the blog Peacocks and Candi

First, something to remember next time an argument/discussion/frustration arises...

"We use our tongues as uncontrollable weapons of mass destruction...The thing I want you to consider is the reason why people yell in arguments. They want you to hear them. So do you best to give your undivided attention. Even then some people are just immature and will say things to intentionally get under your skin. You do not have to respond to everything another person says."

And now, some thoughts to think to jump start any day:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Life is full of arrivals and departures

Sticking to a resolution with friends around is difficult, especially when they're on vacation world. So my unofficial temporary hiatus is now officially over. One friend is gone, the other has moved her luggage into the spare closet and taken up residence on the couch.

It's an exciting time no doubt. My best friend living with myself and my boyfriend...and my cat. Three of my grandest loves in one house. 

Here's hoping I can curb my controlling tendencies and not snap at silly situations because it's not "my way". And new adventures!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Down the rabbit hole

"Be aware in everything you do. Let your every act be dynamic to your consciousness. To live automatically is to slip backward on your evolutionary climb toward perfect awareness."

How often do we go through the motions without even realize what we're doing? I know most mornings I fall into this trap during my commute. Only sometimes snapping out of it when I get elbowed on the train. Ohhhh the small glories of city life!

It's challenging though- always being aware, being present in the moments that you'd especially not want to be in. Sometimes I think that's a big chunk of it. You know, being too tired or frustrated of the same commute, the same tasks so you (I) just daze out to get there, somewhere some form of end. But the point should be to appreciate or at the very least acknowledge where you are in each moment- as mundane as it may seem.

Here's to appreciating being alive and actualize. And having the ability to pay attention.

"I coulda been a contender..."

"My size Corona" Times Square, Summer 2010
We grow up. We change allergies every seven years. And apparently, we lose our alcohol tolerance. I used to have a heavy hand and a lenient liver. Now? Not so much.

Not that it's necessarily a bad thing. In some way I believe it to be some kind of blessing. Kind of like my body's natural way of just saying no. But in another way, I think waking up at 1:00 am because of two beers on a non-empty stomach is a little unfair (and ridiculous).

I guess this is growing up....

Monday, February 07, 2011

How to listen...

 (who wouldn't want this to wake up to?)

Ahh, Oliver. He makes me happy. Whoever said pets make you happier (or something along those lines) was spot on. I can't imagine my life without him.

Speaking of happiness, here's an article Gretchen Rubin posted about feelings. I remember reading the same article back when I began my internship. And it's so true. Sometimes (or more so), we presume others to feel how we feel as opposed to letting them actually express themselves. This article helps realize how little listening and how much assuming we really do in our daily lives.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


Summer of Love 2006, (Mom's house)
Flight to NYC for TC orientation, June 2009
305 Spring Break, March 2010
Andrea is one of my best friends. We have been since the 7th grade (1999) marking our friendship a whopping 12 years old! That's half of my existence!

As of tomorrow, she will officially be living with us. Needless to say I am super excited. Our other best friend is coming up to help her move her stuff. So this week will be full of goofy pictures and memorable antics. To hold true to my daily posts, I'm most likely going to stick to photo-bloggin' so I can fully enjoy this mini-vacation with them.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

No reality transforms itself

"Certain mental attitudes resemble postures of the body. Do you lean forward mentally, as if to grasp things before they happen? Do you lean back, as if to distance yourself from life’s unpleasantness? Do you lean sideways, as if forever seeking a new strategy? Keep your mental posture upright and relaxed, and you’ll find within you the power to cope with every difficulty."

I've always leaned to the side. Makes perfect sense: I tend to think the grass is always greener. I avoid endings, closure is difficult, so I tend to try other ways to work around any sort of finale. (Definitely not psychologically healthy). I almost kind of want to say that now the universe makes perfect sense after reading this.

For the past year and half my posture has been a major focal point. I know, I know my mom has forever been trying to have me stand up straight with my shoulders back. But it felt uncomfortable and unnatural! When I was "diagnosed" with epilepsy I discovered how essential the roles of breathing and proper posture really are. By becoming conscious of my mind-body connection I was able to curve the likelihood and severity of the pseudo-seizures. Start to feel anxious? Take a deep breath and let the exhale last longer than the inhale and visualize the negative feelings blowing out.

My posture still needs much improvement. After all, adjusting a 23-year habit doesn't happen instantaneously. But I have become extremely aware of how it makes me feel. For an instant stress reliever, I lower my shoulders. That alone helps reduce anxiety and helps remind me to focus on breathing. Pushing them back is a bonus.

Speaking of becoming more self-aware, I discovered this gem that sums up my perspective on time: 

"Think of time as a radiation outward from your own center. Past and future are a circle rotating around a never-changing present."

Being a visually oriented person has its advantages, even if I sound crazy most of the time. When I think about my past or even the future, the images are encapsulated in small bubbles floating around me, where ever I am at the moment. It's always nice to know that someone else out there views things in a similar manner. Plus, I have an affinity for circles and who doesn't like bubbles?

Here's to remembering to breathe!

Friday, February 04, 2011

An education will get you...

In April 2009, while I was preparing to start the ultimate South American-European adventure I checked my e-mail when I got home from my job at a domestic violence & sexual assault center. There was one from said school telling me to check the college's portal to discover what my academic destiny would be. Honestly, I had forgotten I had applied to the school because it was a last-minute whim in the last week of January, before applications were due.

I checked the portal. I was at home, alone, per usual. I read the words again and again. Finally, it registered: I was accepted. I, Michelle, first-generation American daughter of Argentine immigrants, all-around minority student and typical statistic of a single-parent household. I was being told that I was accepted at an Ivy league college. I yelled so loud I lost my voice.

I think I remember that being one of the happiest days of my life. I was so proud of myself. I was accepted into an Ivy league institution. I joked and said it was so they could fill their minority quota. My life changed. No longer could I escape off to romantic global adventure. This meant it was time to finally move to the city of my dreams, at a school who's name on paper would get me anywhere.

I'm 13 weeks away from my potential graduation as an Ed. M student. I have loans up the wazoo because this institution is expensive, and as I found out once I had already sent in my deposit, they do not grant Master's students financial aid. And now, I'm being told I might not receive that little piece of paper that I have spent so much time, money, stress, and wrinkles over.

My advisor e-mailed me nonchalantly at 12:30 this afternoon despite not able to meet until Tuesday. That is five days worth of anxiety-attack inducing stress I need to endure to find out what my future holds. I'm trying to tell myself that everything will work out for a reason- one way or another.

But it's hard. It really is.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Without a presence, there is no absence

"High Tea" Esca, February 2011
Yesterday I had a bit of a mini-breakdown. As I was trying to pick an outfit to go on a date Jon and I had planned thanks to restaurant week, a nice whopping reality-check slapped my self-esteem to the sewers.

For a few months I had been pining to go to Esca because of it's slow-food mentality. And thanks to specials we could take advantage of it. I knew it was impressive considering the review sites labeled it as "$$$$" and while I don't own any fancy frocks, because let's face it I can't afford the SATC lifestyle, I do own some decent items. But yesterday, the outside world was quite literally an ice-skating rink and there was no way to leave the house without rain boots and cozy pants.

I know we all have an "I-don't-have-anything-to-wear" dilemma every once in a while. But I instantly fell into a pity party. Why don't I have nice, professional clothes when I'll officially be one in May? Why don't I have a versatile closet? What have I worn the past year at my other job? Why have I gained all this weight since living in the city and my decent clothes doesn't fit right? Why is this restaurant giving me the Cinderella-syndrome?

I was knee-deep. I cried. I yelled at Jon. I took out the majority of my closet to try on. I did not want to go to the restaurant of my dreams anymore if it was going to make me feel like a scrub. Why did I deserve or think I had the right to go to such a place? I kicked Jon out of the room and remembered to breathe. Here I was with the perfect opportunity to try new things, have a romantic date, feel nice about myself, and I was throwing it away because of a tantrum.

I quickly threw on a nice tank with my thick Gap sweater and stuffed my black "professional" pants into my Tretorn rain boots and decided to face the disapproving looks of staff. At least if I didn't look fancy, Jon didn't either and we'd be in it together, like a couple. And if they didn't approve and try to offer us blazers, then we would keep our dignity and patron a different restaurant. It's NYC right? Everyone dresses crazy!

As we travelled over my confidence starting swelling, "well screw them if they don't accept us!" We made it finally, where a very attentive staff that was kind despite their initial reactions of seeing us, and sat us at a small table full of different sized utensils that we had no clue how to use. Jon and I looked at each other agreed: we felt like little kids wearing our parents clothes. We were the youngest ones there among business executives and ladies-that-lunch.

We were out of place, but we ordered anyway. And it was one of the most delicious meals I have ever had. (Note: if you ever go, order the spaghetti a la bolognesa!)

This seems to be a recurring theme in my NYC life: finding a niche to fit into, a balance between my young-professionalism versus my peter-pan roots, feeling classy enough to dress-up my single-parent-lower-middle-class Argentine roots in this sky-high concrete city. It's one of my personal demons that is always lingering in the back of my mind, where I've come from. And I never want to become one of those adults that consider Applebee's fine dining.

But hopefully, I can do as I did yesterday and overcome the negative voices and enjoy what I deserve. Grow into myself and who I'm meant to become: appreciate the skeletons in my closet but ignore their taunting voices.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"In order to love yourself, you must behave in ways that you admire" -Yalom

(walk to class, Teacher's College, Fall 2010)

What's with today, today? 
(Today was a wonderful day. Details manana)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

2011 Resolutions

February 1st is here which means I've somewhat successfully made it through the first month of another hectic year. Back in December, Gretchen Rubin's "How to Stick to your Resolutions" article help me articulate some goals I have for the present & future. Very helpful tips to stay focused!

Since the first month has now passed and I've made decent progress with said goals, I figured I could publish it without shame now. This week I'm going to try to actually formulate and fill out her "resolutions chart" that she shared to see if I can improve. Sticking to her outline, here they are:

What would make me happier?
  • (a) Something good: 
    • Feel better about myself (incorporate self-esteem boosters) 
    • Focus & find my center and/or passion; enjoy more
    • Write!
  • (b) Something bad:
    • Complain/whine less!
    • Stop/Lessen nagging!!
    • Be less jealous & insecure
  • (c) Fix something that doesn't feel right:
    • "atmosphere of growth"
      • learn new things, adjust beliefs, reframe things
    • myself & my outlook
    • relationship with Jonathan
What's a concrete action that would bring about change?
  • (a) Stay active: physically, socially, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, professionally, chemically
    • Blog to enforce writing--progress to NaNoWriMo
    •  Treat myself 1x/week if possible, at least 2x/mo (to anything)
  • (b) Turn negative thoughts into neutral/positive ones via reframing
    • Avoid being sneaky/slick/sly
    • Stay honest
  • (c) Try different things to see what works
    • Go on 1-2 dates weekly, spend time apart
    • Make "inspiration Board" to organize thoughts/ideas
    • Record everything (to not forget!)
Am I a yes/no resolver? (Do I do things better with a positive/negative connotation?)
  • Relatively equally motivated, depending on the situation.
  • Definitely not absolutist!
Am I starting small enough?

How am I going to hold myself accountable?
  • Blog
  • Record things
  • Ask others for opinions & perspectives